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Full text of "The Writer's Monthly (Jan-Jun 1916)"

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A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 

The Writer! 
Month! 



Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY 




Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



JANUARY, 1916 



NUMBER I 



IN THIS NUMBER 

Lively Facts About 
Brett Page: Criticism 
and Revision of Verse: 
A Few Hints For the 
Wise: An Interview 
With Pat Howley: A 
Word About Setting: 

Besides Eight Departments 



THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 
Springfield, Mass. 

1 » 1 

15 Cents a Copy • • \ $1.00 a Year 






REAL HELPS FOR WRITERS 

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THE ART OF STORY WRITING Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
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STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. A companion book to Writing the 
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WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
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book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 374 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii + 310 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An inspirational 
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// on inspection a book is found undesirable and it is returned within ten days, the pur- 
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THE WRITER'S MONTHLY, Springfield, Mass. 



A Well-Known Writer says: 

"Webster's New International 

is a marvel of completeness. It is an indispensable 
feature of the library of every man who either reads 
or writes. There is no matter of land, sea or sky that 
does not come within its purview and every topic is 
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400,000 Vocabulary Terms. New Gazetteer 
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More Scholarly, Accurate, convenient, and Au- 
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Critical Comparison with all other dictionaries 
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Please mention The Writer's Monthly when writing advertisers. 



The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 



A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII 



January, 1916 



Number 1 



CRITICISM AND REVISION OF VERSE— Francis MacBeath 

A WORD ABOUT SETTING— Sara H. Sterling . 

IDEAS FOR WRITER-PHOTOGRAPHERS FROM MOTION 

PICTURES— A. T. Strong 

AUGUSTUS THOMAS ON TEACHING PLAY WRITING . 
LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS— XHI— J. Berg Esenwein 

BRETT PAGE— Will C. Lengel 

A FEW HINTS FOR THE WISE— Bertha Scott . 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— AN INTERVIEW WITH PAT 

HOWLEY— E. M. Wickes 

A QUEST FOR ORIGINALITY ... 

PISTOLS IN FICTION— S. J. Fort .... 

LITERARY BOOKKEEPING— Lee McCrae 

AUTHORS AND THE BIBLE 

THINKS AND THINGS— DEPARTMENT— Arthur Leeds 
CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT 
EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 
PARAGRAPHIC PUNCHES— DEPARTMENT 
WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT .... 

EDITORIAL 

H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT 

ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES— DEPARTMENT . 



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5 

7 

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11 

14 

18 

21 
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26 

27 
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30 
34 
36 
38 
39 
42 
44 
46 



Published monthly by The Home Correspondence School, Myrick Building, Springfield, Mass. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspondence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Entered at Springfield, Massachusetts, Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter 

PRICE 15 CENTS A COPY: : : $1.00 A YEAR 
CANADA $1.25; FOREIGN, $1.50 



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The Technique of Play Writing" 

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Gilt Top. $1.62 Postpaid. 



a 



Writing for Vaudeville" 



By BRETT PAGE 



Author oj ' "Close Harmony " l< Memories ""Camping Days," 
Etc. Dramatic Editor" Newspaper Feature Service" New York 

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Aaron Hoffman. Valuable chapters on popular-song 
writing, and selling vaudeville acts. A mine of informa- 
tion. 650 pages. Cloth, Gilt Top. $2.15 Postpaid. 



The latest volume of "The Writer's Library" 
THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 

Springfield, Mass. 

Please mention The Writer's Monthly when writing advertisers. 



Vol. vii January, 1916 Number 1 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 

Criticism and Revision of Verse 

By Francis James MacBeath 

Lucky is the writer — especially lucky the poet — who has a 
friend to stand between him and his literary faults; one with intelli- 
gence to discover the defects, courage to give honest opinions, knowl- 
edge to suggest corrections and interest to devote sufficient time to 
the criticism. Granted the ability, who will do all this for us unless 
we be something more than friends — and in that case how shall we 
guard against a prejudice in our favor that in his eyes may raise our 
work almost above adverse criticism? 

Few writers have the ability to judge correctly their own work; 
they are most likely to overlook their habitual faults — else how could 
they have become habitual? Carried away with enthusiasm, the 
poet too often believes that he has given his thought and feeling 
adequate expression, when to the reader certain or even all of his 
lines convey but a vague suggestion of what their author saw in them. 
Only by keeping his verses until he can regard them from a fresh 
viewpoint is it possible for the poet to improve them unassisted. 
Kipling is said to keep some of his poems in his desk for years, re- 
touching them at intervals. Thomas Gray began his Elegy more 
than seven years before he authorized its publication. Unless you 
possess similar genius and patience, you need some other critic to 
assist you. 

To meet this requirement, the Home Correspondence School 
has designed a new, advanced course in Poetics and Versification. 
It consists of twenty lessons, which will be devoted to the criticism 
and revision of ten short poems; the idea being to return each sub- 
mitted poem to the student, with a practical criticism that will 
enable him to revise the lines — so that the actual work may be his 
own. In the next lesson the same poem, revised by the student, is 
again sent to the instructor, who will once more criticize it, and 
suggest what further alterations he thinks it needs to fit it for possible 
publication. 

In pursuing this course of study the student not only should 
complete ten poems with a degree of finish that otherwise he might 
not give them, but he should discover and eliminate his most com- 



4 CRITICISM AND REVISION OF VERSE 

mon literary faults, and also he should form the valuable habit of 
criticizing his own work. To illustrate the practical working of this 
system, the following poem, which recently was submitted for 
criticism by a student, is published with her permission. It is selected 
for this purpose partly because it is short, and also because it con- 
tained a good poetic thought with several effective lines, yet had 
some defects that might have prevented its publication. The num- 
bered criticisms and suggestions are the instructor's part of the first 
lesson. 

A wounded dove,(l) with pinion broken, 
With breast all marred, (2) lies at my feet. 

Oh voiceless (3) bird with song unspoken (3) 
Now silent (3) are thy love notes sweet. 

And from a hedge a (4) dove is singing 

A last song to his stricken mate; 
While all my soul in grief is winging 

To my lost love, (5) Oh, cruel fate! (6) 

E. B. F. 

(1) To intensify the pathos of a bird bereft of power to sing and fly, I should substitute for 
the dove the lark — "That singing still dost soar, and soaring, ever singest." 

(2) The word "marred" is open to criticism as here used — better use a color — to describe a 
scene in colors is to present it more vividly to the imagination of the reader. 

(3) Repetition approaching the ludicrous. 

(4) Make it clear at once that this is the mate of the wounded bird. 

(5) The climax of your poem, which should end it. The words might be repeated for 
emphasis. 

(6) This should not be expressed in words — it is the impression you desire to leave in the mind 
of the reader; tell the story but do not at the end explain that it is sad. 

To the layman this criticism may seem to suggest almost a new 
poem, yet the instructor is careful to preserve so far as he can the 
thought and feeling of the original verse. Few great poems have 
been written hastily; studied care gives the effect of spontaneity. 
We must pass through art to nature, studying the technicalities until 
we have mastered their use and made their application a habit — 
then we can afford to forget them. 

As it happens, the poem quoted was handled in the regular course 
in Versification; had it been submitted in the new advanced course, 
for a second lesson it might have been returned to the instructor in 
some such shape as this: 

A wounded lark, with pinion broken, 
And crimson(l) breast, lies at my feet. 

Poor, stricken bird (2) with song unspoken, 
Now(3) silent are thy love notes sweet. 

And from a hedge your (4) mate is singing 

A song that soars to heights above, 
While all my soul in grief is winging 

E'en to the skies, to my lost love. (5) 

(1) Unless used in the past tense, "crimson" might suggest that the lark, like the robin, had 
a red breast. "Crimsoned" would be better. 

(2) This might be left to the imagination of the reader. Why not dwell on the thought of the 
"song unspoken" — that is suggestive. 

(3) "Now" would be more effective at beginning of second stanza. 

(4) "Thy" used elsewhere — one or the other form should be used consistently through a poem. 

(5) For simplicity let the yearning of the poet, and of the bird, be directed together to the 
ekies — the lost human love and the living bird both calling to Heaven. 



A WORD ABOUT SETTING 5 

With the criticisms as noted, the poem is returned by the student 
in the following form: 

FATE 
By E. B. F- — 



A wounded lark, with pinion broken, 
And crimsoned breast, lies at my feet. 

How eloquent thy song unspoken! 
All silent are thy love-notes sweet. 

Now from the sky thy mate is singing 
To lure thee to the heights above: 

Like thine my tortured soul is winging 
To my lost love, to my lost love ! 



A Word About Setting 

By Sara H. Sterling 

Every writer knows that there are three things necessary to 
every good short-story as to every good novel: Plot, Characters, 
and Setting. It matters not how interesting your characters, how 
full of atmosphere your setting, if your short-story lacks a plot, it 
is a short-story only in name, or in your opinion of it. You may 
have a most spirited plot, but if your characters are mere puppets, 
with the strings that move them very obvious, still you have not a 
real short-story. Lastly, you may have both a stirring plot and 
characters that seem actual flesh and blood, but if your setting, no 
matter how lightly sketched, is false or unconvincing, your public, 
if you ever reach it, will feel that something is lacking in your short- 
story, even though they may not be able to define wherein that lack 
consists. 

Of these, setting seems to be the most difficult for a young writer 
to make effective. Nine times out of ten, the reason is that he has 
not a clearly defined idea as to what setting means. Asked by way 
of an exercise to outline a setting, he may write something like this: 

"The shop was dark and low-ceiled. Clocks, ticking busily, 
stood on the shelves that lined the walls, and watches of many kinds 
rested in the glass cases upon the counter. An old man with a long 
gray beard sat near the door." 

Now, this is setting, after a fashion; but when you have finished 
the paragraph, have you in your mind's eye a clear picture, 
or merely a somewhat confused mass of details? Here is the real 
test of an effective setting: Does the reader get a distinct mental 
image of the place you describe? Remember, you must yourself have 
that picture vividly in your mind's eye before you can make it live 
for him. 



6 WARNING 

Let us take the paragraph just given, and see whether he can 
make it somewhat better. 

"As Richard entered the clock shop out of the bright sunshine, 
twilight seemed suddenly to descend upon him. Shadowy, ghostly 
figures haunted the gloom, ranged in menacing rows upon the shelves 
around him. They seemed to mock or warn, in their monotonous 
ticking voices. Fainter voices, too, echoes as it were of the stronger 
ones, came from the glass cases on the counter. And who but the 
guardian spirit of the place — old Father Time himself, he seemed — 
sat near the door as ready to challenge." 

Comparing these two versions, you will see first of all that no 
new detail has been added, though a character has been introduced, 
and the setting described from his point of view — always an effective 
method, although by no means absolutely necessary. We have used 
figures of speech to give vividness; and we have tried to create 
atmosphere rather than give merely a list of details. In other words, 
we have sketched a picture, not made a catalogue. 

This illustration is, of course, a very brief and simple example of 
the point in question. Study Cynthia Stockley's stories, and note 
the unmistakable African atmosphere. Go to Kipling, naturally, 
for India; to Jacobs for the English sea coast town. Come nearer 
home, and read Mary E. Wilkins for New England, Thomas Nelson 
Page for Virginia, or any one of the numerous writers who have drawn 
so successfully for us the many and varied aspects of our great country. 
Read them critically; not only feel their effects, but see how they do 
it. And, here as elsewhere, note always that suggestion, although 
more difficult, is always a finer method than detail. 



Warning 



Patterning after the methods of certain publishing concerns, a 
company now offers to make photoplay productions for authors for 
"a little more than $300 per reel," pointing out that film commands 
as much as $1.50 a foot or $1500 a reel. This looks like a chance to 
get rich almost overnight, but authors should avoid this seemingly 
generous offer. 

It is entirely true that film negative does command as much as 
$1.50 a foot for exceptional stuff, but the run in price for good negative 
is more apt to be from seventy-five cents to one dollar per foot, and 
even in the case of professional producers this is supposed to cover an 
occasional rejection, and one large purchaser of negative recently 
rejected twelve thousand feet of comedy produced by a well-known 
concern. The foregoing applies only to contract work. In the open 
market much smaller prices prevail, since there is so little demand 
for outside footage, and one buyer recently stated that he could, if he 
desired, obtain a half million feet of negative at less than the cost of 
raw stock. 

Obviously, personal production is no short road to wealth. 



Ideas for Writer-Photographers from 
Motion Pictures 

By A. T. Strong 

All writers need good photographs with which to illustrate their 
articles. An article susceptible of illustration yet unaccompanied 
by photos is very likely to be returned as "unavailable for present 
use," while good photos actually often sell articles of a mediocre 
merit. A great many writers have cameras and some understand 
how to make salable photographs. But, judging by what I see in 
even the best magazines, the average writer is sadly deficient in 
photography, not only in technical work, but in composition. 

Has it ever occurred to writer-photographers that the moving- 
picture screen offers unlimited opportunity for studying photography 
in general and composition in particular? Why, a modern moving- 
picture drama abounds with ideas for improving one's pictures! It is 
a veritable living photograph, pulsating with life and showing an 
endless variety of groupings and poses from the opening scene to 
the censorship tag. Many of the scenes present artistic gems which 
we should like to see in permanent form, only the next instant to 
fade or flash into a scene of even greater beauty. 

The lessons to be learned from watching the films are many; 
but my space permits treating of only a few. 

That most motion-picture cameramen are lovers of art is ap- 
parent in the carefully chosen settings which in themselves are often 
exquisitely beautiful. And the figure work shows masterly handling, 
too. The wide-awake cameraman usually sees to it that when one 
or two figures appear in a scene, especially a scene in which some 
natural grandeur forms the background, they occupy a position of 
strength — a little to one side of the center and well up in the fore- 
ground. Figures posed thus add greatly to the beauty and interest 
of a scene — they seem to have come naturally into the picture and 
do not appear to be posing. This applies to the " still" photograph 
as well. 

Another little ruse is that of throwing the background slightly 
out of focus, which gives the effect of depth or distance in the picture. 
It also causes the figures to stand out in bold relief. 

Most humans — I might say all — are more or less self-conscious 
when facing the camera. The searching eye of the lens seems to exert 
a mystic power which causes normally refined, intelligent people to 
photograph ridiculously — they rarely look natural. The camera does 
not portray even our friends as we know them. It captures but a 
fleeting expression, which, unless care has been taken to render it a 
pleasant one, or at least one of ease, is very apt to be recorded as a 
fixed stare, or what is worse, a meaningless grin. 



8 IDEAS FROM MOTION PICTURES 

The moving-picture actors are trained to ignore the presence of 
the camera and, while often forced in the action of the play to look 
directly into the lens, the experienced actor never stares as does the 
average person. 

In " still " pictures, women photograph more easily and naturally 
than men. But results are always better if the attention of the 
subject posed is directed to something a little to one side of the 
camera. The photographer can often secure a pleasant, natural 
expression by making some facetious remark and then snapping the 
picture just as the subject is about to open his lips in reply. 

Buildings appearing in the films present material for study. 
Note the effect of bright sunlight on buildings casting delicate shadows 
from cornice, gables and decorations, just as the architect would, no 
doubt, represent the same structure in his drawings. Compare this 
scene with one in which a similar building has been photographed on 
a sunless day. 

Watch animals — horses particularly — in action. Observe that 
when a horse at short range is coming toward the camera, his head 
and shoulders are disproportionally large. Also that the body is 
elongated to an incredible length. Note in particular the effect when 
the animal turns broadside to the camera, and, I'll venture to say 
you will no longer take pictures of horses or other large animals 
"head on." 

Many of you, no doubt, have attempted to photograph swiftly 
moving objects — express trains, speeding automobiles, etc., often 
with disappointing results — usually a blurred picture little resembling 
the original. The cinematograph operator will show you how to do 
that successfully, too, for be it remembered that while sixteen or more 
photographs are taken every second, the actual exposure (time) given 
each separate picture is relatively small, and if he did not exercise 
good judgment in selecting the point of view, his pictures also would 
be blurred. A little study will show that he evidently chose a position 
in front and a little to one side of the approaching train or motor, 
and even then, blur is noticeable when the moving object gets too 
close. The same train or motor appears to be moving much more 
slowly when viewed at a considerable distance. 

Perhaps nowhere is the effectiveness of selection more apparent 
than in some of the motion-picture landscape scenes. Here, a bit of 
roadway winds gracefully into the haze of distant hills. A rustic 
fence follows the course of the road on one side, and a row of stately 
trees on the opposite side further emphasizes the composition — all 
the lines lead the eye into the picture; there is nothing discordant in 
the whole scene. 

Next may appear a scene along the seashore. If it is pleasing, 
it will be something more than a few yards of sand in the foreground 
and an indeterminate expanse of sea and sky beyond. It will show a 
charming stretch of gently curving beach mellowing into the distance, 
a boat or group will be in the foreground, while incoming waves break 
in a succession of minor curving lines which further contribute to the 
composition. 



AUGUSTUS THOMAS ON TEACHING PLAY WRITING 9 

When, in the course of a play, a small number of film actors form 
into a group it is usually a pleasing one. When John approaches the 
rustic bench upon which Pauline and Harry are sitting, he does not 
"plank" himself down beside them, no indeed! More than likely he 
will remain standing at one end of and back of the bench, while Harry, 
out of deference to his friend, will arise and assume a leaning attitude 
over the back of the bench or lounge carelessly on the arm at the 
opposite end. Thus the picture tells its own story. We readily under- 
stand that the men are friends, though rivals for the hand of the 
vivacious girl who constitutes the principal figure of the group. No 
subtitle is needed. Nor is this solely due to the fact that they 
are acting " parts." The director and the man behind the camera 
have learned that three heads in a row, and all of the same height, 
do not constitute a group in accordance with the dictates of art. 



Augustus Thomas on Teaching" Play 

Writing 

Mr. Augustus Thomas, the distinguished American playwright 
who has been made artistic director of the company formed to carry 
on the work of that lamented victim of the Lusitania tragedy, 
Charles Frohman, is interested in the development of the American 
drama from a novel standpoint. His new position has made it in- 
cumbent upon him to get plays of merit, and the dearth of available 
material, because of the war, has quite naturally turned the pro- 
ducer's attention to home sources. 

We reproduce here his statement, recently given to the metro- 
politan newspapers, not only for its intrinsic interest, but because it 
is in direct line with the new course in Practical Play Writing just 
announced by the Home Correspondence School, to be given by 
Prof. Charlton Andrews, of New York University — himself a success- 
ful playwright. Professor Andrews' earlier book, "The Drama 
Today" is well known, and his new volume, "The Technique of 
Play Writing," is so thoroughly in harmony with Mr. Thomas' 
idea that the coincidence constitutes a notable endorsement of the 
new method. 

"Since August, 1914, play writing has been extinguished in seven 
nations," said Mr. Thomas. " The theatres of six countries are closed. 
Previous to that August sixty per cent of the dramas, comedies and 
operettas shown on the American stage came from Europe and 
England. America, which has always made the greatest demand of 
all countries for theater entertainment, must hereafter produce its 
own supply. Play writing is paralyzed throughout Europe for five 
or ten years to come. Except the plays we have from Maugham, 
Barrie, Pinero, Besler, Chambers and Morton, no plays will even 
come out of England for years to come. 



10 AUGUSTUS THOMAS ON TEACHING PLAY WRITING 

"But in this fact is the American playwright's golden oppor- 
tunity. Not since the night the first theatre in America threw open 
its doors have the writers of American comedies, satires, farces and 
musical operettas been yielded such an absolutely clear field. A 
nation of eighty million must hereafter look exclusively to its own 
writers for its theater entertainment. As the art directing head of 
the huge Frohman institution, I am forced to realize that for many 
years to come there is an end to the practice of managers seeking 
plays abroad. This, therefore, enforces the policy of hastening the 
development of home products. 

"The total paralysis of play writing in Europe is one reason 
behind my plan for stimulating American play writing, but it is only 
one reason," Mr. Thomas continued. 

" I have long held and frequently expressed the opinion that the 
potential dramatist is first a newspaper man, because the newspaper 
man has that indispensable training, not elsewhere found, in dia- 
logue, in character study, and has the flare for the dramatic. I 
believe that the future of the American drama has its finest promise 
in such products as shall come directly from the soil; such stories as 
shall be indigenous to the communities which they express. Our 
country is so large that we may never produce what may be definitely 
called 'The Great American Play/ but the great sections are so dis- 
tinctive and individual that many great sectional plays will be 
evolved. 

"The material for these plays now lies in the minds and may be 
on the tables of many ambitious young men in the local rooms of the 
newspapers, and if a method however imperfect can be devised for 
calling this material into l shape' the theater and the nation will be 
the gainers. 

"Allow me to illustrate my theory by example. During the last 
winter, after lecturing before Professor Baker's class in drama at 
Harvard, I made a second visit to the university for the purpose of 
working in collaboration with the students. We proceeded on the 
assumption that a definite order had been received from a manager 
for a play. Then the class addressed itself to the task; decided upon 
the actor or actress for whom the play was to be written; started 
with either a suggestion or an idea and built a working scenario lead- 
ing from that idea. 

"The experiment was successful, and in two morning sessions 
of three hours each, Professor Baker's class of thirty-five produced 
what can be recorded as an excellent story for a play. 

"The story was left in the custody of the class, which was to 
appoint a small committee for its amplification into a proper play. 

"The reported result of the experiment was so heartily received 
by the Society of American Dramatists that the society voted to try 
similar experiments among its own members, and for several con- 
secutive Saturday nights during the season those members met and 
worked after the same fashion, first under my leadership and then 
under others. In this work two stories were evolved and given to 
committees for their development into plays. 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 11 

"These dramatist pot-boilers have not yet made their appear- 
ance and the committees of dramatists appointed to work upon them 
were not always in agreement, but something more valuable than 
the production of the pot-boilers resulted from the collaboration. 
Some members of the committee decided to work on their own account 
on the stories presented; others began to work in pairs, which is per- 
haps the most satisfactory allotment for collaboration, but the 
whole society was energized by the idea, and its various members 
went to work with renewed vigor. 

"The success of the experiment at Harvard and in the Drama- 
tists' Society and especially the practicability of work in that manner, 
indicate that if in centers of the great sections, let us say, Philadel- 
phia, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, St. Paul, Chicago, New 
Orleans, Boston, St. Louis, Detroit, and other cities, a sufficient 
number of newspaper men could be found to form a little working 
coterie to which company I or others might come who are familiar 
with the work; such a company of writers could successfully collabo- 
rate upon a play. I do not think that this play would necessarily be 
great or even successful, but I do believe that after it was produced 
the men who had been instructed by its production would employ 
the same methods to make plays of their own subjects about which 
they no doubt feel deeply and are thoroughly informed." 



Letters to Young Authors 

THIRTEENTH LETTER 

Dear Mr. Carson, 

Every man has his pet indoor sports. I am going to confess to 
only one of mine — that of looking for inner meanings in words which I 
have long accepted as standing for conventional ideas. Take "figura- 
tive" as a case in point. The rhetorics and the dictionaries define it, 
of course, and we most of us think no farther, yet the word itself 
wears its meaning quite openly — that which suggests a figure, a 
form, whether spiritual or physical. The French use this word 
"figure" interestingly. Figurez vous, they say — "picture to your- 
self." So figurative language is really picturesque language because 
it calls up a figure, a form, a picture — mostly, so that by imaging a 
picture we may gain a conception which it would require many more 
words of a direct sort to make clear to our minds' eyes. Sometimes 
these figures are set up to stress points of likeness, sometimes points 
of contrast, but always the aim is to treat a picture in the mind. 

What am I driving at? Throughout, the story you sent me 
seems too direct in language to be striking. Your delineation of 
character for example, is cataloguey, rather than vivid, and I choose 
now to speak of characterization because it is chiefly through pictur- 
esque conceptions that humans are made to seem interesting to us in 
fiction. What they say, what they do, what others say to and of 



12 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

them, what others do to them, how they receive the actions of others — 
all these vital parts of character-play in story are made real to us 
when we are made to see the character in question by means of some 
revealing spot-light. 

Let us look at your opening characterization : 

"Martin Ellicott was as austere a man as his father before him, 
and his father's fathers, to remote generations. His long, narrow 
face never seemed to smile, his deep-set black eyes bored straight 
ahead, no glow warmed his seamed cheeks, and his step never quick- 
ened with enthusiasm. 'Straight' was the word to delineate him. 
Straight was every lock of his dry, black hair; straight were the 
creases in his doe-skin trousers; straight dangled his lank arms as he 
forged straight ahead, discarding all obstacles, as he methodically 
paced to his office. Even his speech was straight, and betokened a 
dour impatience of anything that might have modified the keen 
directness. " 

To be sure, you have drawn a clean-cut picture here, and I do 
not quarrel with it, because the physical traits inevitably show us the 
inner man by suggestion, but when you follow the same direct method 
with Arthur Risley, Ellicott's young partner, and again with at least 
three other characters, and also describe minutely the scenes of the 
action, I begin to weary. This is the method of the old-time novelist, 
not that of the vivid story-teller. It is conscientious work, I grant 
you, and leaves a telling impression, but you have only a few thousand 
words in which to tell your story, therefore it will not do to pause 
before each portrait to catalogue the details of what you see. " Enough 
is sufficient," as the darkey preacher said. 

All sorts of things besides physical appearance may be picturized 
for us by figurative language. Lately I've been re-dipping into 
Stevenson's "The Wrecker." Here are several random samples of 
the picturesque: "From the den of this blotched spider, etc." — 
characterizes an infamous shyster lawyer. A certain vocal effort was 
"an acid strain of song." The dome of an unfinished state capitol 
was "encaged in scaffolding." To these three let me add a fourth, 
just remembered. From the bay one night the narrator saw San 
Francisco, its buildings "swollen in the fog." 

It seems to me that absolute fitness — the fitness that makes 
one wonder why he himself did not think of such likenesses — marks 
all these pictures. And the beauty of it is, each figure starts the 
mind off with a bound to supply parts of the envisioned scene which 
the writer has allowed to remain implicit. We simply cannot stop 
with the idea of an aspiring dome being " encaged in scaffolding," or 
end with the "blotched spider" — we ourselves become picture 
painters on the instant. 

O. Henry was particularly apt in his figurative characterizations, 
of both persons and situations. Take this double-one from "The 
Whirligig of Life." "Ransie was a narrow six feet of sallow brown 
skin and yellow hair. The imperturbability of the mountains hung 
upon him like a suit of armor. The woman was calicoed, angled, 
snuff brushed, and weary with unknown desires. Through it all 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 13 

gleamed a faint protest of cheated youth unconscious of its loss." 
And this, from the same masterpiece, for it is nothing less: "Obeying 
the flap of his rope, the little red bull slowly came around on a tack, 
and the cart crawled away in the nimbus arising from its wheels. " 

O. Henry also gives us this gem; it is from " Phoebe": "I 
noticed, without especially taxing my interest, a small man walking 
rapidly toward me. He stepped upon a wooden cellar door, crashed 
through it, and disappeared. I rescued him from a heap of soft coal 
below. He dusted himself briskly, swearing fluently in a mechanical 
tone, as an underpaid actor recites the gipsy's curse." And again: 
"Bad luck may be like any other visitor — preferring to stop where it 
is expected." 

Besides the fitness of these comparisons, notice how informally 
they are made. As I recall my struggles with the rhetoric text-books, 
it seems to me that the figurative speeches cited as examples were 
mostly starched and prim, on the one hand, or extravagant on the 
other. Informality — there's the key to the brisk, startling compari- 
son. "In came Mrs. Fezziwig, one vast, substantial smile." I never 
tire of quoting that miracle from the Christmas Carol. It is not only 
a picture of a person but of a lively, moving, radiant personality — 
even the breezy inversion, " In came, " is a hundred-fold more vigorous 
than would have been, "Mrs. Fezziwig came in. " 

But figurative speech must no more be overdone than the 
Cratchit's goose. Your sophomore sprays his English with pictures, 
and loses sincerity of effect. Study the masters — only now and then 
do they flash a comparison when they are telling a story; in the 
essay, picturesque phrases are much more frequent. Obviously, this 
is due to two reasons : We use few figures in natural dialogue, and the 
essay is a more leisurely form than is prose narration. 

How may one learn to originate picturesque comparisons? Not 
so much by premeditation as by meditation. It is an attitude of 
mind, not a trick of the pen. One must see pictures before writing 
them. The habit of seeking for fresh likenesses will prove most 
diverting — on a journey, walking the thoroughfares, looking in a shop 
window. Be a severe critic of your inventions — bite each coin that 
drops from your mill to see if its glitter is after all only leaden. Begin 
with the picture-evoking adjective, like Stevenson's "hill after hill 
soared upward." Then try longer comparisons, such as his charac- 
terization of the stream: "Ay, it has a long trot before it, as it goes 
singing over our weir, bless its heart. " — both these figures from "Will 
o' the Mill." 

So by seeing into things — and doesn't one come to see by much 
thoughtful looking? — we exercise our fancies ; for in the end it is all a 
matter of imagination, of imaging and re-imaging, until at last 
appears an image that is at once new yet genuine, striking yet appar- 
ent, suggestive yet inclusive. And that will be our sought-f or figure 
of speech. 

Cordially yours, 

Karl von Kraft. 





]Mw them Better 

XXVI. Brett Page 

By William C. Lengel 

"The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth" is no 
longer a form, but a formula. It reads well, but is not guaranteed 
under the Pure Food and Drug Act. It has so fallen into desuetude, 
if not disrepute, that even court attendants mumble it as a phrase of 
mysticism. Were a biographer to follow its precepts, the descendants 
of the subject would cause him to lead a most unhappy life, if a life 
at all. 

When the subject of a chronicle such as this is alive, and very 
much so, and possesses a nature that is so modest and unassuming 
that the well-known and much-heralded violet, in comparison, is a 
forward, flaunting self-advertiser, the problem is almost as difficult 
as the unravelling of this complex sentence. But no matter, we shall 
hew to the line, let the chips fall where they may (where have I seen 
that before?), and if Brett Page doesn't like it, he may move farther 
into the wilds of Brooklyn, which he haunts between one a. m. and a 
shamefully later hour. 

But come to think of it seriously, Brooklyn is undoubtedly one 
of the reasons for Mr. Page's calm, precise and unruffled demeanor. 
Manhattan, the capital of the land of neuresthenia, has as its foil the 
Borough of Babes, Churches, and Rubber Plants. Mr. Page gathers 
his vividness from Broadway, and Brooklyn serves as a bromide, all 
of which is an irrelevant prelude to the declaration that "Brett Page 
is one of the best informed authorities in this country on matters 
relating to the vaudeville stage." This statement of a veteran 
vaudeville producer applies not only to the writing end of the game, 
but to the producing, staging, acting, management and financial 
ends as well. With such a heavy equipment of knowledge Mr. Page 
simply had to unload some of it in his latest success, "Writing for 
Vaudeville." 

B. P. possesses that soundness of judgment which enables him to 
make decisions and act quickly. The uninitiated call it taking 
chances. In reality, it is putting knowledge to work. Mr. Page's 
experience has taken him into all phases of the newspaper and maga- 
zine games as well as into the theatrical business. Therefore when his 
knowledge works it is a very versatile knowledge indeed. He has at 
his finger-tips information and data that have proved invaluable to 
him at times when he has been called upon to produce a bit of writing 
in short order — a capital way to lasso the agile buck. 



BRETT PAGE 15 

About two years ago, a writer who had written a playlet or two 
was in need of some technical information on the subject and applied 
for it at the Public Library. Among the scores of books about the 
stage in general, he could find nothing at all on the technique of 
writing one-act playlets for the vaudeville stage. He presented his 
predicament to Ray Long, Editor of the Green Book, and was com- 
missioned to prepare three articles on the subject of writing and 
producing playlets. The first two articles " caught on" and the 
series was extended to run for a period of eight months. To have 
gone out and gathered the material needed would have taken much 
more time than was allowable. Who, then, was the one person from 
whom could be obtained all the information necessary for the many 
different articles? Brett Page; none other. A telegram was suffi- 
cient to get B. P. to work, and in a little over two weeks the remaining 
six articles in the series were in the hands of the writer in question, 
and with little trouble, he adapted them for the purpose intended. 1 

This series of vaudeville articles attracted such wide attention, 
and brought so many requests for additional information that could 
not be included in the contents of a magazine article, that Mr. Page 
finally decided to enlarge and amplify the material, making it suit- 
able for publication in book form. He took the rough manuscript to 
the then Editor of Lippincott's Magazine, who, being at once struck 
with the value of and need for such a work, suggested that Mr. Page 
have his book become a unit in the Home Correspondence 
School's " Writer's Library." Mr. Page consented, and the 
volume entitled " Writing for Vaudeville" has just been issued. 
Voild, as they say in Sweden. Further, Mr. Page will conduct a 
class in vaudeville writing, a new course which is now ready for 
aspiring writers. When this course gets working, there will be no 
more poverty on Grub Street. 

That Mr. Page's book has been brought out by the Home 
Correspondence School brings to light an interesting coincidence. 
Not many years ago, Mr. Page made his first dollar; several of them 
in fact. He performed this historical feat by selling copies of "The 
Century Book of Facts," published by the King-Richardson Com- 
pany, of Springfield, Mass., from which concern the Home Cor- 
respondence School developed. He accumulated so much cash 
in the first three weeks on this work that he quit his job, and it 
should be remembered that this happened in the days when the 
Income Tax Law was not in effect, and he really had nothing to 
fear. He was attending college at the time, however, and it is quite 
possible that the mere thought of money bored him a bit. Since 
then, however, several of his friends have clubbed together and 
have sworn to relieve him of his forth-coming royalties and thus 
drive all future boredom away. 

This disregard for money is evidently the reason why Mr. Page 
decided upon the newspaper game as a means of livelihood. He 

!Mr. Lengel himself is too modest to say that he is the astute writer who collaborated with Mr. 
Page on these articles on vaudeville. At last we have coralled a modest author! 



16 BRETT PAGE 

determined to learn the business, from the press room in the basement, 
to the art rooms on the top floor beneath the skylight. He graced 
the pay roll of the Des Moines Register and Leader for a year, and 
during that interval shed the light of his brilliance on many depart- 
ments. They still cherish his finger marks on the old office towel. 
Think of the price the Metropolitan Museum will some day pay for 
that ebony relic! 

Even this newspaper experience did not cure his lack of interest 
in the elusive dollar, but when — at so tender an age that it would 
not be fair to make mention of it — B. P. was appointed advertising 
manager of a large coal mining concern, with headquarters in Des 
Moines, he spent the largest appropriation ever given an advertising 
manager in the Middle West up to that time. Spending one's own 
money is a bad habit and should be frowned upon; spending other 
people's money is an art and worthy of intense thought and cultiva- 
tion. Mr. Page distributed the cash allotted him both wisely and 
well, and proved that it pays to advertise. 

At length New York held out its gay white lure, and Mr. Page 
hied himself thither. (Expression copyrighted — many years ago.) 
Were this a fictional narrative, it would be the cue at this juncture 
for slow music and the entrance of the sob squad. Here would be 
told the tale of the struggles of the boy from the West for a foothold 
in the seething metropolis. The ambition of the present chronicler 
is to find that fictitious person who walks from Yonkers all the way 
down to Bob Davis's sanctum in the Munsey offices and sits in fear 
and trembling while Mr. Davis reads his story. Until he stands 
forth in open view and shows his face, the story does not go. It's 
not being done in our best families. 

However, Mr. Page wore out no shoe leather in such gambles — or 
ought we spell it gambols? He started in at once to write newspaper 
feature stories for the New York Sunday papers, and he not only 
wrote 'em, but he sold 'em, which is not always the same thing. Then, 
in his own unobtrusive, persuasive manner, he induced several news- 
paper syndicates to gamble on his stories. 

Now, dear reader, keep your seat; read the paragraph of this 
sketch in which it was promised to tell the truth, the whole truth, 
etc., etc., etc. If Mr. Page should once grasp you by the hand and 
look into your eyes and speak to you softly in his aforesaid persuasive 
and convincing manner, and yet with compelling tone, you would 
"fall" just as those helpless editors did. At any rate, Mr. Page 
spent a summer in Europe and the following winter in Bermuda — all 
on the proceeds of his syndicate work. Be not led astray, however, 
by the lightness of these remarks. His "stuff" had the earmarks of 
greatness; that's why it was accepted. Royalty time is almost here, 
let the subject of this eulogy please take notice. 

What Robert Daly declared to be "one of the fastest, cleverest, 
one-act farces" he had ever read, "The Room Next Door." was 
Mr. Page's next effort, and his first real attempt at writing for the 
stage. The playlet was done in collaboration with Robert C. Aulman, 
at that time the manager for Joseph Jefferson. The De Mille Com- 



BRETT PAGE 17 

pany accepted the playlet, but when an offer came which promised a 
speedier production, the author bought back the producing rights, 
with real money. Mr. Page was compelled to refuse seven different 
offers for the sketch, from actors who were privileged to read it. 
Did you notice that " privileged? " 

That incident blew him into the theatrical game on a big breeze. 
He opened an office in the Gaiety Theatre Building, New York, and 
was at once commissioned to write materials of all kinds for the 
vaudeville stage. A list of his successful playlets would read like a 
catalogue, but among his tabloid musical comedies will be remembered 
" Camping Days," "The Bell Boy and the Belles," "The Little 
Shaver," and many others. 

With Cecil De Mille, he wrote a three-act melodrama which had 
a run of two years, and he produced "The Escape," a one-act play 
of the thriller type, which played for three years. 

It was about this time that Mr. Page arranged for the production 
of William C. Lengel's first playlet, "The Game," which has been 
played almost continuously for five years. The editor insisted that I 
should ring this in. 

To this list of accomplishments may be added Mr. Page's 
success as a song writer, his most recent effort in this connection being 
the popular ballad entitled "Memories," the music for which was 
written by Sol Levy. 

Now for some more dark history. Mr. Page, be it known, is 
largely responsible for the present dance craze. It was he who 
brought to America Countess de Swirsky, the famous Russian 
dancer, and by a clever bit of publicity work made her a society 
favorite at Newport, before presenting her at Hammerstein's in her 
daring barefoot dances. Later, she toured the country with extraor- 
dinary success. She was the forerunner of the foreign artists who 
have made dancing our favorite indoor sport. You see, B. P. has 
much to answer for. 

In presenting Beatrice Irwin, in collaboration with the late 
Henry B. Harris in her "Color Poem" matinee at the Hudson 
Theatre, Mr. Page made another artistic success, and brought the 
art of theatrical lighting to the highest point reached at that time. 

Then Mr. Page became an "act scout" and play doctor, dis- 
covering plays and playlets that were near-successes and transforming 
them, through the aid of his magic, into real successes. This he did 
for a combination of two of the largest vaudeville organizations in 
the country. Meantime, his short-stories were appearing in many of 
the magazines, his picture-plays being produced on the film, and in 
collaboration with the same retiring William C. Lengel, he wrote 
"Showing the Way to Photo-Play Writers," which appeared serially 
in the Green Book Magazine, winning high praise and some simoleons. 

It seems a rather natural evolution that Mr. Page should have 
developed into a dramatic critic and a newspaper syndicate editor. 
In this way, he is rounding out his fund of information, and only now 
starting on his real career. 

All of which is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the 
truth. Further affiant sayeth not. 



A Few Hints for the Wise 

By Bertha Scott 

Thanks to the journals now designed to help the struggling 
author, the way is constantly being made somewhat easier. Since 
we must always trudge afoot it can never be a royal road, but the 
experience of other writers helps us over many places that might 
prove stony. 

Even the advice given by professional writers, however, must 
sometimes be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. For example, 
I have frequently read the statement that an author should never 
submit a manuscript to a magazine he has never seen; in fact, that 
he should buy a number of copies of the magazine and make himself 
familiar with its policy. The writers of these warnings even go so 
far as to advise very solemnly against the folly of sending an article 
on planting rye to the needlework magazine ! If the poor author goes 
very far wrong in that direction, his deficiency in intellect would 
render all of his articles unavailable for any publication whatever. 

My experience has been that the magazines I have read regularly 
since childhood, and with whose policy I vainly nattered myself that 
I was familiar, have very courteously returned my offerings. My 
acceptances have been almost invariably from magazines with 
"whom" I had only a bowing acquaintance. The essential thing is 
to know the general kind of material used, and to exercise common 
sense as to the suitability of your manuscript. 

To illustrate : I once took some photographs of an unusual camp, 
after seeing a notice in the Ladies' Home Journal that photographs of 
camps were wanted. I had read every copy of the magazine for years, 
and although it was my first article outside of newspaper specials, the 
return of the manuscript was a surprise. In trying to decide what to 
do with the article I remembered that my father sometimes bought a 
copy of a magazine called Recreation, the pages of which I had 
skimmed over in odd moments. So there I sent my article and photo- 
graphs, though the disappointment of my first rejection was too keen 
to allow me even a faint hope. Consequently when Mr. Cave 
promptly accepted the article I mentally gave him a halo which he 
will wear to the end of time. 

And so it has been with all my writings since. I reason that the 
editor of a publication devoted say to the house and garden will read 
interestedly any well- written article on a subject within its require- 
ments, and if he rejects it it is usually from reasons such as overstock- 
ing, which the author could never have fathomed. Even if I have 
never seen more than one copy of the magazine, I do not hesitate to 
submit appropriate material. 

I hope I am not storing up trouble for any editor when I say that 
a number of my stories and articles have been sold, on their first trip 



A FEW HINTS FOR THE WISE 19 

out, to publications with which I was totally unfamiliar. Under this 
class come stories for girls, photographs and sketches of curious 
objects, as well as material for the women's magazines. The house- 
hold magazines all use the same general type of material, dealing with 
the entertainment and betterment of the family as a whole; the 
Sunday School and other juvenile publications want stories with a 
definite moral or principle, cleverly disguised; the newspapers as 
well as various magazines devoted either to nature or science are 
always glad to get photographs of oddities of almost every kind — and 
so it goes. 

The only pitfall in sending out manuscripts in response to edi- 
torial statements given in a literary publication, is that one may be 
tempted to send material to a publication of which he knows abso- 
lutely nothing. No, I am not contradicting myself — it is not neces- 
sary to be familiar with the publication itself, but it is the better part 
of wisdom to be familiar with its reputation for honorable dealing. 
I have yet to see a copy of the Chicago Daily News to which I occa- 
sionally send storiettes, yet I know that it is both prompt and reliable 
— also that it pays slightly better prices than the average newspaper. 
On the other hand, if I read that The Lantern has recently been 
organized and desires manuscripts of all kinds, I keep all my brain- 
children safe at home. 

Other advice frequently given is that the young author should 
not scorn writing for the smaller publications. It would be better 
stated, if you wish to be famous eventually, and to subsist meanwhile, 
do not scorn selling to the minor publications, but always write for 
the best ones. Suppose, for instance, you have written a story intended 
for the Youth's Companion, and that excellent periodical cannot use 
it — remember that the same type of story is used in all of the religious 
publications, and if St. Nicholas or another high-grade juvenile 
magazine frowns on it, send it the rounds, even if you must finally 
accept the dollar-fifty per thousand words paid by one religious 
publication. It is amazing to see in what good company you find 
yourself: many of the writers for such magazines as the Century and 
Harper's have very short stories for the tots in the Sunday School 
Times. At any rate, do not write "down" for anything. Write for 
the best — and sell wherever it is possible. Whether or not your best 
is appreciated, your apprenticeship is shorter for the effort. 

As to the number of times a manuscript should be submitted, 
before giving up, opinion seems to vary greatly. My idea is never 
to give up so long as you have faith in your manuscript and the list 
of suitable publications is not exhausted. Only yesterday I sold a 
story which had traveled intermittently for five years, and which 
had been twice re-typed but not revised. I have gone back among my 
first manuscripts that had met with bad luck, and have gradually 
sold all but two stories — written during my high-school days. These 
my later experience recognized as very faulty, but they're safely 
put away for further use, since the plots are quite as good as new. 

One well-known writer says that if her manuscript is rejected 
as many as three or four times by magazines of the same type she 



20 PHOTOPLAY PEPIGRAMS 

is sure the story is faulty, and either revises or destroys it. Revise 
as many times as you have the time and patience, but do not destroy 
anything — not even the Valentine verses you wrote when you were 
fifteen! As you grow more experienced a use will suggest itself for 
every idea you have written down. Sometime, when you write your 
big novel, perhaps you will want to invest a part of it with the spirit 
of youth — and when all else fails, you can bring out your little sheaf 
of Valentine verses, and voild, once more you see the dazzling sun- 
shine, dream the wonderful dreams, and feel the almost tearful long- 
ing of Youth itself! 

To sum up — save all the time and energy possible, for you will 
need both. Do not spend hours cramming your brain with useless 
information and worthless stories trying to fathom the mysteries of 
various editorial tastes; do not waste both time and postage sending 
manuscripts to publications of mushroom growth; and unless you 
find plots difficult, do not revise short manuscripts after a few rejec- 
tions. Give all that time to your bigger, newer work, and thereby 
gain added facility of expression. 

As I have intimated, the foregoing advice is not in accordance 
with the suggestions usually given. In fact, there is only one point 
on which writers agree unreservedly — and that is, to succeed, you 
must write, write, re-write — and then perhaps still re-write. And of 
course that is the best rule of all. 



Photoplay Pepigrams 

By S. Raymond Jocelyn 

Scenario building is to classic writing as shorthand is to spelling. 
It is the nightmare of conventionality and custom. 

Technicalities are infernal bugbears as well as supernal 
requisites. 

Simple, concise language is forever blessed. 

The photoplaywright visualizes, thinks in dramatic pictures; 
but he must also work not in flourishes of language but in words of 
action. 

The film manufacturers are a thousand feet removed from the 
legitimate dramatist and his producer, and always will be. It is 
decreed. 

Experience has taught the practical dramatist that the only way 
in which he can hope to secure good construction is by determining 
definitely, before beginning to write at all, what is to be the end of his 
play and how that end is to be attained. Among the principal 
dramatists (for the legitimate stage) there is absolute unanimity: 
each constructs his last act in every detail before beginning to write, 
and one or two are known to write the dialogue of the last act 
before writing a line of the first. 



Help for Song Writers 

AN INTEKVIEW WITH PAT HOWLEY 

By E. M. Wickes 

Once upon a time three wise men put their heads together for a 
conference pertaining to the publishing of popular songs, and as a 
result the firm of Howley, Haviland & Company was established. 
The third member was the late Paul Dresser, author of "The Pardon 
Came Too Late," "The Banks of the Wabash," "The Blue and the 
Gray," and other successes. 

Prior to this meeting, the popular song game had been played 
in a hit-or-miss fashion. A song was published and offered to jobbers 
and dealers, and if the public fancied it, the publisher added to his 
bank account, and if the public ignored it, the publisher frowned, 
swallowed his chagrin, and then turned his attention to another 
possible hit. 

Pat Howley argued that the best method would be to create a 
demand for songs by concentrating most of the combined efforts on 
performers, and his partners finally agreed with him. Mr. Howley, 
also, was in favor of an open house for writers — that is, he did not 
believe in staff writers, although he was in favor of giving preference 
to writers with reputations. In order to prevent others from getting 
the impression that the firm would depend upon staff writers, Mr. 
Dresser's name was omitted from the sign, for when the firm started 
in business Dresser was set down to do most of the songs at the 
beginning. The firm grew and eventually became the largest pub- 
lishers of popular sheet music in the country, and until the day it 
dissolved it always kept an open house, as well as an open purse for 
every Tom, Dick, Jane or Mary who had a good manuscript to offer. 
One may safely say that the firm started more new song writers on 
their careers than any other three firms combined. 

Today a popular publisher considers himself well off if he has 
one hit going, and yet when Howley's firm was well established, two, 
three, and four hits at one time was the rule rather than the exception. 

Howley, Haviland & Dresser published dozens of hits, including, 
"On the Banks of the Wabash," "Just Tell Them that You Saw Me," 
"In the Baggage Coach Ahead," "Bill Bailey," "Ain't Dat a Shame," 
"Good By Dolly Gray," "I Can't Tell Why I Love You," "Mamie," 
"Annie Moore," "Story of a Rose," "A Little Boy in Blue," and 
"The Blue and the Gray." Now a man who could pick winners 
year after year, and whose firm did a monthly business of something 
like $40,000, should be able to give some valuable advice to the 
struggling song writer. 

While "Pat" Howley has not been seen in the foreground much 
of late, he has kept in touch with the business, and it is very likely 



22 AN INTERVIEW WITH PAT HOWLEY 

that he will branch out again and become as large as he ever was in 
the past. So well did he know the public's taste that some of the 
songs he published years ago are still good sellers today — one espe- 
cially, "Dear Old Girl." And the soldiers in the trenches, according 
to press reports, have tired of "Tipperary" and substituted "Good 
By Dolly Gray." 

Knowing the world of song lore that Howley must carry behind 
his wide-awake, dark eyes, I dropped into his office for a chat about 
past and present conditions. 

"What do you think of a person's chances of breaking into the 
song game now?" he was asked. 

"It's not as good as it used to be in the old days," said Mr. 
Howley, "But there are always a few of the big fellows willing to 
take a chance on a newcomer if he can deliver the goods; otherwise 
we never would have any new writers. The staff system is bad for 
the business in general, for most of the staff writers fall into a rut and 
drag the publishers into it after them." 

"Do you think a person is wasting his time trying to write 
popular songs?" 

"It all depends upon how he goes at it. You know New York 
isn't the only place in the world. I know one fellow out in a western 
city who makes a good living by depending upon local trade for his 
sales. Of course, if a man has not the natural knack for writing 
songs he won't make much headway; but if he can turn out the kind 
of stuff that appeals to the public some publisher sooner or later will 
take him up." 

"Do you think it a waste of time for a publisher to examine 
songs that come from unknown writers in distant states?" 

"A publisher who refuses to examine the manuscripts that come 
to him through the mail is not a very wise person. We purchased 
more than a dozen hits from unknown writers. You know, you never 
can tell where a genius will spring up. Some years ago two writers 
who lived out West sent us in a batch of songs. We accepted two, 
and shortly after they sent in another stack. We immediately saw 
that they possessed ability, and were anxious to obtain their best 
efforts." 

"On what basis did you do business?" 

"We always offered a royalty contract — two-and-a-half cents a 
copy to the lyric writer, and the same to the composer. We seldom 
tried to buy outright, unless a man was in need and was anxious to 
sell. 

"One of my partners in his willingness to assist two new writers, 
the two I just mentioned, lost out on two big hits. My partner 
wrote a letter to the newcomers suggesting that they would do well 
to offer their songs to other publishers, provided we could not use 
them. Now the writers, who happened to be Kenneth and Udyle, 
misinterpreted the letter, thinking that we did not care to consider 
any more of their work for the time being and submitted a batch of 
songs to Witmark, and in this manner we lost the chance to get hold 
of 'Just One Girl' and ' Just as the Sun Went Down.' After that we 



AN INTERVIEW WITH PAT ROWLEY 23 

never told any one to go elsewhere, and we used to spend even our 
Sundays going over the manuscripts that came in by mail. ,, 

"How did you judge a song, Mr. Howley?" 

This query appeared to make the veteran pause for a moment. 
Then he put down his half -smoked cigar and replied: 

"I always was in favor of a song that carried a complete story, 
or an incident that suggested a complete story. If you have paid 
any attention to Mr. Dresser's songs you will see that every one of 
his songs carried a story, one that appealed to the heart; and Mr. 
Dresser was one of the most popular and most successful song writers 
of his day. We did not invent the story song. It was popular with 
the masses long before we were born." 

"And why do you believe that a story is so essential in a song? 
Some of the present-day writers have no faith in it." 

"Yes, and the public puts little faith or money in their songs. 
History will show you that mankind has always been interested in 
stories — a child grows up on them ; the lovers can't get enough good 
story songs; and when a touching story is blended with a pretty 
melody, the song will, if properly handled, find a welcome from the 
public. A song can arouse just as much emotion in the breast of 
man, and cause just as many tears to flow, as the best book or play 
that was ever written. 

"When we were 'plugging' 'Just Tell Them that You Saw Me,' 
I saw dozens of women performers while trying to learn the song 
suddenly burst into tears. And if the story in a song will affect per- 
formers who are supposed to be more or less immune to this sort 
of emotion, imagine the effect one will have on the heart of the 
average young woman." 

"What is your opinion of the present crop of songs?" 

"It's the same old story. The heart-interest story songs like 
'The Trail of the Lonesome Pine,' 'The Tulip and the Rose,' 'Tennes- 
see,' are bringing in thousands of dollars, while the inane junk is 
taking out thousands." 

"But these inane songs occasionally become popular." 

"Because you hear a song whistled and hummed is not proof 
that the song is a winner. The public does not buy every song it 
hums or whistles. I know that from experience. And I know what 
it means to spend ten thousand dollars on a song that does not bring 
in more than five thousand in sales. Money and clever 'plugging' 
will make a song fairly well known, but all the money in the world 
won't force the public to buy when it does not like the song." 

"What advice could you give to one trying to break into the 
business?" 

Mr. Howley's face broke into a smile before he offered any 
comment : 

"I'd tell him to keep away from the ideas that had been done to 
death," he answered, "and also to keep in touch with the business 
by reading the trade papers. He should study the life about him, 
and listen carefully to the utterings and mutterings that come from 
his friends and neighbors. We had to do it as publishers in order to 



24 AN INTERVIEW WITH PAT ROWLEY 

meet the changing taste of the public. Then, too, a man or woman 
who wants to be a popular song writer should always bear in mind 
that simplicity and euphony are big factors in a song's success." 

''But how did you manage to have hits going all the time?" 

"Because writers knew we kept an open house; that we gave 
quick decisions, and never haggled over a few dollars' advance 
royalty. And we pushed the songs that looked promising, whether 
they had been written by a new or an old writer." 

"Do you think you could do the same thing again, Mr. Howley?" 

"I certainly do." 

"Do you think you will ever try it?" 

This inquiry brought a smile into his eyes — a smile that carried 
a great deal of hidden thought. 

"Later on I'll answer that question," he said. 

"But with all your experience and liberal policy, Mr. Howley, 
you finally went out of business." 

" 'Went out' is correct," he shot back. "But we did not fail. 
Furthermore, when we did quit we had two hits going, 'Dear Old 
Girl,' and 'On A Good Old Five Cent Trolley Ride.' Why we quit 
is another story." 

"Well, to get back to the subject of the discouraged writer — 
many, you know, maintain that they have first-class songs but can't 
find a publisher." 

Howley objected with a vigorous shake of his head. 

"They think they have," he laughed. "They bunch together 
a few rhymes and think they have a song. These they sing to their 
friends, and you know it takes a really good friend to tell you just 
how poor your work is. The friends' opinions are usually accepted 
as final. Then the trouble begins." 

"But why should not a friend's opinion be as valuable as that 
of a publisher?" 

"Because a publisher spends his days and nights studying, just 
what will please performers and the public. Now, candidly, you 
don't suppose that a sane publisher will reject a song in which he 
sees, say a profit of five or ten thousand dollars? Every publisher 
makes mistakes, but if a song really contains a ' punch ' it will land 
somewhere and get the money." 

Howley stopped in his talk to look into his desk. A minute 
later he drew out a sheet of paper. 

"Here is a lyric that was sent in by a friend of mine," he said. 
"He says it is as good as any of the songs on the market and wants 
me to find a market for it. I wrote him yesterday telling him why it 
had no value, so I don't suppose he will object if it appears in print. 
Then Howley read: 

"At night when the stars are shining, and the birds have gone to rest, 
I wander down a shady lane, the place I love the best. 
In my fancy I can see her, standing by the garden gate, 
Just a pretty little country girl, my dearest sweetheart Kate. 
And many years have passed away since we parted by the stream, 
And yet I always see her for she comes in nightly dreams." 



A QUEST FOR ORIGINALITY 25 

"That will do," he said. "The chorus is worse. It tells about 
some mountain that has nothing to do with the verse. How can you 
expect any person to become interested in that sort of jumble? You 
know as much at the end as you did at the beginning. He starts out 
with the moonlight without having any definite idea to convey, and 
then jumps to a shady lane that naturally conjures up day and sun- 
shine. Having a desire to introduce the girPs name he shifts the 
scene to the garden gate so that he will have a rhyme for Kate. 
Later he buries her, not knowing that this style of song has been 
obsolete for years. And he is but one of the many thousands who 
complain that publishers are in league to keep them from their just 
deserts." 

"What would you advise a man of this sort to do to improve his 
work?" 

" Study the lyrics of real songs writers such as Ingrahm, Mahoney 
Sterling, Al. Bryan, Will D. Cobb, McDonald, and Anita Owen. 
When the beginner can write on a level with these writers he will have 
less cause to complain and more money to spend." 



A Quest for Originalty 

For months we have been trying to find original contributions 
to literature which have been written during the last thousand years. 
John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress" is one of the very few stories 
written since the year 1000 that cannot be traced to an earlier source. 
Our last correspondent defies us to prove that "Rip Van Winkle" 
is not original. This is easy. All we have to do is turn to Washington 
Irving' s autobiographical writings and we find that he acknowledges 
that he obtained the idea for the story from the Dutch pioneers in 
New York state. Irving merely plays the part of the story-teller 
and not the original story-writer. But let us not stop here. 

In reading the writings of Diogenes Laertius, the biographer of 
the Greek philosophers, we find some fabulous stories told about 
Epimenides, the poet and prophet of Crete. To quote the biographer : 

"Epimenides was sent by his father into the field to look for a 
sheep, turned out of the road at midday and lay down in a certain 
cave and fell asleep, and slept there fifty-seven years; and after that, 
when awake, he went on looking for the sheep, thinking he had been 
taking a short nap." 

If we did not have the letters of Washington Irving today, we 
could easily imagine that this story of Epimenides suggested the story 
of Rip Van Winkle to him. 

Wasn't it Oliver Wendell Holmes who said: "A thought is often 
original, though you have uttered it a hundred times?" — The Quill. 



Pistols in Fiction 



By S. J. Fort, M. D. 

For the benefit of writers who are long on their ability to write 
short-stories and short on their knowledge of firearms, the following 
information concerning several frequent errors is respectfully sub- 
mitted. The automatic pistol has come to stay, and since its advent 
has become the favorite weapon with which to arm heroes, heroines 
and villains. The term "automatic" as applied to the pistol is sanc- 
tioned by usage, though the term " self-loading " (Selbstlader, as the 
Germans term them) , would be more descriptive, albeit less euphoni- 
ous. The term " revolver," as applied to the pistol, means a revolving 
pistol, or a pistol having a revolving cylinder as part of its mechanism, 
which contains the cartridges, each cartridge being automatically 
brought into line with the bore of the barrel when the hammer is 
cocked. The automatic pistol has no cylinder, the cartridges being 
contained in a magazine carried in the handle of the weapon, a spring 
beneath the column of cartridges feeding them singly into the re- 
ceiver, and the slide being actuated by the retractor spring, carrying 
them into the chamber of the barrel ready for firing. For this reason, 
the common error of using the term "automatic revolver" is incor- 
rect as usually applied. There is a foreign-made automatic, or self- 
loading revolver, but the weapon is not only very intricate in design 
but very expensive, and I doubt if there are half a dozen in this 
country, and certainly the average hero or villain would never have 
one. 

The Maxim silencer is a device which has been applied to rifles 
with considerable success as a reducer of noise and recoil and appar- 
ently with little effect upon accuracy. It is not a physical impossi- 
bility to make and place such a device upon a revolver or a pistol, 
but its application to either of these weapons would interfere with the 
usefulness of any hand-gun, and we have it upon the word of Mr. 
Maxim, the inventor of this device, that none have been made for 
this purpose. 

The term "caliber" as applied to small arms is the diameter of 
the bore of the weapon measured between the lands. American 
revolvers and pistols have the following standard calibers and no 
others: 

Revolvers: .22, .32, .38, .41, .44, and .45 

Automatic pistols: .22, .32, .35, .38, .380, and .45 

Errors made in miscalling calibers are not infrequent — sometimes 
typographical errors, perhaps, but more likely due to ignorance. 



Literary Bookkeeping 

By Lee McCrae 

Every business requires bookkeeping; and when one is making 
a business of writing short articles some system is necessary. The 
financial end of it demands books and the overburdened brain wants 
to be free to do creative work instead of trying to remember that 
which has been done. We all realize this. 

Probably, therefore, you have formulated your own record book, 
or have one of the kind published for writers; but perhaps you may 
get a bit of an idea from my system, which, like that of many a corner 
grocer, has just evolved itself out of growing needs. So I venture 
to tear out two leaves — figuratively speaking: 

For two books are necessary, as I see it; one a manuscript record 
in which each article or story has its separate page, and the other a 
mailing record in which I can see at a glance just how many are 
"out," where, and what have been recently returned. Oh, yes, mine 
frequently come back, but the postman must merely carry them out 
again, possibly in the next mail, allowing me just time enough for 
examination and any needed revision. 

Each book is of regular memorandum size, 3x7 inches, to fit 
the pigeon-holes of my desk. A leaf from the "MSS. Record" looks 
like this : 

The left-hand dates indicate the time of sending; the right-hand 
ones date of return, while the cash marked in the center of the page 



No. 


of 


MS. 


TITLE 








"The 


Autumn Garden 


!» 


No. 


of 


word 


s Date of 


writing 




800 


May, 


1915 


June 


8 


'15 


, Garden Mag. 
July Z 


, '15 


July 


5 = 


»15 


Sprague Co. 
$6.50 





acts as a big period to the story's wanderings, the price paid, in 
this instance, by the Sprague Company — of course the details on 
this specimen page are fictitious. 



28 LITERARY BOOKKEEPING 

Often one sending is enough; but sometimes the column goes 
down the leaf, thus moving the beautiful period nearer the bottom. 

Why are the prices placed in exactly that spot? No reason 
whatever, merely the habit, and possibly the desire of seeing them 
easily as I turn the leaves of the little book. 

I am filling my fifteenth record book, so you may know the plan 
has been satisfactory. 

The other book, the " Mailing Record," is needed to keep tab 
on what one has sent out. It is a crude affair, but such a source of 
quick information that I consult it much more frequently than the 
separate entries. A leaf from it would resemble this: 





May 










Stamps 


Rec'd 


May 2; 


"A Piller of Eire" 








Meade Co. 


4 


$7.00 


" 5; 


"His View-point" 








American B 


oy 8 


6.50 


I" 7; 


"Building a Plot" 








Writer's World 


4 




" 8; 


"Joy Stories" 








Acton Co. 


4 





This May record of mailing ( incomplete, of course ) shows me 
exactly the amount of work sent out in that time, the cost of postage, 
and what the work has brought in. The black line down the side 
marks "goods returned. " 

In this, the first two were taken and netted $13.50, the third 
was sent back, and the fourth is still to be heard from. 

At the end of the month the postage column is added, but often 
it takes many months before the last can be set down, thanks 
to time-taking editors. 

At the close of a year it is a simple matter to take a blank leaf 
next to the December record and balance my year's work, both as to 
cost, remuneration, number of manuscripts sent, number accepted. 

Another thing I am beginning to do to save labor: When an 
article is newly written and fresh in mind, I pencil on the MSS. 
Record a number of places where it might be sold if it should meet 
rejection on its first voyage; then, months later, when I am busy 
on something else, I do not have to re-read it before sending it out, 
or let it go at a venture. This is merely pencilled so that the sugges- 



AUTHORS AND THE BIBLE 29 

tions may be erased when it has, like Noah's dove, found "a rest for 
the sole of its foot." 

These little schemes have helped me and have been born of 
necessity, so they are passed on that others may formulate their own 
books, incorporating just the ideas that appeal to them. 



Authors and the Bible 

Many an author is indebted to the Bible for a title to a novel. 
Hall Caine makes good use of it with "The Woman Thou Gavest Me," 
"The Prodigal Son" and "The Scapegoat;" Marie Corelli culls 
"Wormwood" and "Barabbas;" Miss Braddon "One Thing Need- 
ful," and "Thou Art the Man." 

The late Walter Besant got "Children of Gibeon" from the same 
inexhaustible supply, as well as "The Fourth Generation." The 
author of "John Halifax, Gentleman" has a novel entitled "A Life 
for a Life;" John Hocking has one "All Men Are Liars;" Henry 
Seton Merriman, "The Tents of Kedar;" David Lyall, "The Corner 
Stone;" E. M. Jameson, "A House Divided," and "Rita," "A 
Woman of Samaria." 

"Joseph's Coat" is a memorable novel, and so is Marion Craw- 
ford's "Whosoever Shall Offend." William Le Queux has a novel 
called "As We Forgive Them," and Thomas Hardy names another 
"The Laodicean." 

Older readers will recall Whyte Melville's "Black, but Comely," 
and William Black's "Daughter of Heth" is a minor classic. 

Andrew Balfour has written "Vengeance Is Mine," and 
Blundelle-Burton's "The House of Bondage" and "The Sword of 
Gideon" are two fine titles. L. G. Moberley has "In the Balances," 
Charles Marriott "The House on the Sand," and Mrs. Coulson 
Kernahan, "An Unwise Virgin" and "The Graven Image." 

Harold Begbie is fond of Biblical titles. Among others are 
"Tables of Stone" and "In the Hands of the Potter." Richard 
Bagot uses "The Just and the Unjust," and one of the most popular 
novels of the day is "The W^ay of an Eagle." 

How many readers can tell just where these titles occur? 

— Houston Chronicle. 



A Hint of Plagiarism 

"And why do you spurn this child of my brain?" asked the dis- 
appointed author as he received his manuscript back. 

"Because," replied the editor coldly, "certain familiar passages 
it contains led me to suspect that it is an adopted child." 

— Birmingham Age-Herald. 



Thinks /^SxThings 






Mr. Arthur Leeds has resigned his position as Editor of Scripts for Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 
it being his desire to return to freelance writing. Mr. Leeds has the utmost confidence in the 
possibilities offered in the field of the photoplay. At the same time, he is interested in both 
fictional work and legitimate play building, and as an active member of the Ed-Au Club, the 
Playwrights, the Society of American Dramatists and Composers, and kindred organizations, we 
are glad to announce that he will continue to write for our readers these interesting and informa- 
tive paragraphs on what is taking place in moving picture, publishing and dramatic circles. — 
Editor. 

In connection with the fact that I have just resigned my posi- 
tion as Editor of Scripts for the Edison Company, I should like to 
make two statements which I believe will interest photoplaywrights 
in general. In the first place, the Edison Company has just with- 
drawn from the General Film Company. Quoting from the Morning 
Telegraph, "This leaves Edison releasing no films whatever through 
the General Film program, but the Edison studio will go on, as 
usual, devoting itself to the production of five-reel features, released 
through the Kleine-Edison Feature Service. Manager Leonard 
McChesney is silent on whether the studio will hereafter produce 
any shorter films than these five-reelers, and is also silent on the 
cause of the Edison withdrawal from the General Film Company." 
So far as writers are concerned, the important point is that, as stated 
in the "Where to Sell" department of this magazine, this month, 
Edison is temporarily, at least, out of the market, except in the case 
of a few writers whose work they have purchased or who are known 
to be capable of delivering the goods. The writers who have been 
tried and have not been found wanting may still sell to the firm, and 
for good prices. President Carl Lsemmle, of the Universal, believes 
that the feature picture is waning in popularity, and that the day 
of the one- and two-reel story is returning; but that is, after all, 
only the opinion of one man, albeit a man who knows the game and 
what is going on in it. Most writers who are selling will tell you that 
at present , at least, they are trying to turn out stuff that will " catch" 
the big feature concerns, as this means not only a broader recognition 
but a bigger remuneration. In other words, the real writers are out 
to do big things and get as "big money" as is possible. 

My experience with the Edison Company showed me that — as 
Mr. Sargent has said — the failure of the average writer to study the 
markets and so know what each company is really buying is what 
keeps so many, many aspirants from making good in the work. 
You simply cannot submit haphazard today. You must know the 
policy of the concern to which you wish to sell and then you must 
consistently write only the best and most attractive stuff you can 
turn out. If you have taken the trouble to find out what stars a 
certain company is trying to provide vehicles for, you should study 
the work of those stars on the screen, and read the magazines which 



THINKS AND THINGS 31 

publish fictionizations of the screen stories in which they appear. 
Get it into your head right now that, throughout 1916 and thereafter, 
it will be a case of the survival of the fittest in the script-writing 
game. This is not an attempt to discourage the amateur — quite the 
contrary. But the amateur must "smoke up" and cease to be an 
amateur just as quickly as possible. There are still many companies 
that want — and pay very fair prices for — one- and two-reel stories. 
Still others want threes, and some require fours. But everything 
you write must be your very best, and remember that, although 
technique is a big asset, the fresh, interesting story is the thing that 
the editors are after. Give the screen the biggest and best that is in 
you, and you will find that the manufacturers appreciate your efforts 
and pay the prices. Personally — and this is my second statement — 
I am delighted to be once again a "free lance." Without any undue 
optimism, I say that the market is better today than it has ever been 
since motion pictures came into existence. No writer who can turn 
out "the stuff" need fear that it will not sell. The coming year will 
be one of big accomplishments in every branch of the industry, and 
the capable writers will get their good share of the general prosperity. 
But to get you must give — the very best you have, at all times. Get 
away from the trivial and the morbid, the salacious and the pessi- 
mistic. Put your soul into what you write, and put humanity, 
kindly humor and optimism into every script you turn out. You 
are one of the pioneers in a business that is, even yet, only in its 
infancy, and as you build, so will the business grow. Be a laborer 
worthy of your hire. And start now. 

Columbia University now has a course in photoplay writing. 
In a circular, the aims are expressed as follows: "This course aims 
to equip the student with a knowledge of the new dramatic possibili- 
ties as well as mechanical limitations of the photoplay; the specific 
demands and the tastes of the typical audience as conditioned by 
time and place of performance; and the technique of scenario writ- 
ing. Each student is expected to confer regularly with the instructor 
for criticism of scenarios. The course includes a visit to a studio." 
The course is in charge of Professor Victor O. Freeburg, who has for 
years been interested in the drama, and who has a book on the 
Elizabethan drama just off the press. Feature films will be run in 
the classroom, and in discussing the pictures twelve questions will 
be put to the students, among which are: "Is it novel, and why?"; 
"If it isn't novel, what does it remind you of?"; and "Why was this 
scenario bought by the producer?" It will be remembered what a 
remarkably poor showing was made by college students as a whole 
in the Edison College Scenario Contest of last year — a result which 
was a very great surprise to the Edison judges, who expected to find 
some exceptionally good stuff written by college men throughout 
the country. However, in offering this new course, Columbia shows 
that recognition is being given to one of the most popular literary 
forms in the history of authorship, and I hope that Professor Free- 
burg's pupils may eventually be able to turn out some scripts that 
will make jaded scenario editors sit up and take notice. 



32 THINKS AND THINGS 

I enjoyed Brother Epes Winthrop Sargent's "Saving Postage" 
article in the December issue, particularly the paragraph which called 
attention to the difference between the one-reel pictures of three or 
four years ago and the thousand-foot films of the present day. To 
utter a bromide, " there's no comparison" — and the reason is plain. 
Looking back to the days when even two-reel subjects were unknown 
— I was then lecturing on every dramatic subject which I ran in the 
picture theatre I was then managing — I can remember think- 
ing how really wonderful it was to see a classic such as, for instance, 
"The Count of Monte Cristo" compressed into, and logically worked 
out in, one thousand feet of film. Well, to be shown at all, it just 
had to be shown in a thousand feet of film, and that was all there 
was to it. Consequently, both the scenario writer — whether staff 
man or free lance — and the director, had to use all their skill in 
reproducing the main points of the elaborate and intricate plot in 
ten hundred feet of celluloid. Similarly, the writers of original 
dramas knew that, no matter how good their story might be, nor 
what its possibilities, it had to be "put over" in a single reel. And 
the answer was — MEAT! Nine times out of ten the story was 
decidedly "there!" Pathe's "The Hand" and "The Grandfather" 
were two Parisian-made pictures that were as thoroughly artistic 
from start to finish as one of Poe's short-stories, and had I the space 
I could name scores of one-reelers by American producers which 
were equally artistic and satisfying. Putting on one-reelers in those 
days was much like writing "short" short-stories in the recent Life 
prize contest : you first of all tried to find a real story, and then you 
worked over it until it was short enough to be just long enough. 
Today, the one-reel story that is really good is such a rarity that 
when you find it on the same bill with a feature, you go out of the 
theatre thinking more about the unusual one-reel story than of the 
feature. I will go so far as to say that, during the past year, not one 
writer in a hundred has put his best work into one-reel stories, if 
he wrote them at all, for the simple reason he knew that if he had 
the "makings" of a strong single-reeler he could, with but little 
effort, "elaborate" (synonymous for "pad") it into a two-reel or 
even a three-reel picture. Those who understand just how much 
padding has been done in most of the so-called features released 
during the past year, know that I am not exaggerating in the least. 
There is not one single feature-producing company that can truth- 
fully claim that none of their pictures have been padded. Again and 
again has been heard the comment, " Good picture, all right, but made 
in five reels when it should have been a three." To sincere writers, 
the dropping of the two-reeler by many companies was a reason for 
deep regret. Two reels is the logical length for many splendid plots 
that are too elaborate to be put into a thousand feet of film and 
which still do not contain quite enough real "meat" for a three-reel 
subject, and certainly not for a five. Of course, the most regrettable 
thing of all is the fact that any picture is confined to one or another 
arbitrary length. The day may yet come when a story will be allowed 
to run its logical length in photoplay, just as it has always done in 
fiction. Then we will have stories — free from padding and unspoiled 



THINKS AND THINGS 33 

by cutting. In the meantime, as Mr. Sargent points out, the one- 
reel story " isn't what it used to was." They are not masterpieces — 
they are nearer to being just pieces. 

At the last meeting of the Playwrights' Club, the president, 
Mr. Stoddard, answered a member who spoke of "style" in current 
dramas by stating that, in his opinion, there was no such thing as 
" style." He meant that, in the theatres of a city like New York, 
although we hear a good deal of talk about the vogue of " crook" 
plays or the vogue of " society" dramas, one need only glance down 
the columns of theatrical advertising to discover that, although there 
may be two or three plays with somewhat similar themes, the theatri- 
cal bill-of-fare is really one of infinite variety. As a proof of Mr. 
Stoddard's contention, New York theatres at this writing are offering 
one pirate play ("Treasure Island"), one business play, with a 
woman lead ("Our Mrs. McChesney," with Ethel Barrymore), one 
business play with Jewish characters ("Abe and Mawruss"), one 
anti-saloon comedy ("Hit-the-Trail Holliday"), one English comedy- 
drama of society ("The Liars"), another English play, a melodramatic 
mystery story ("The Ware Case"), one thrilling drama of the present 
war ("Under Fire"), one drama of a never-was-anything-but-good 
woman's fight against fate ("The House of Glass"), one drama of a 
woman-who-went-wrong's similar struggle ("Common Clay"), one 
play of never-say-die youth making the world pay the living it owes 
("Rolling Stones"), one comedy of theatrical life ("The Great 
Lover"), an excellent comedy of love and jealousy ("The Boomer- 
ang"), one drama of what-its-name-implies ("The Eternal Mag- 
dalene"), a tense drama of a woman without morals or conscience 
("The Unchastened Woman"), a comedy of Lancashire life 
("Hobson's Choice"), a celebrated German drama (Hauptmann's 
"The Weavers"), and several others. Surely this list ought to bear 
out Mr. Stoddard's statement that what the public wants is a good 
play, regardless of the particular type. 

For an example of careful work in scenario writing — resulting 
in the director's following each scene almost exactly as written — I 
should like photoplay fans and photoplaywrights to keep an eye open 
for the forthcoming Heine-Edison five-reel feature drama, "The 
Crucifixion of Philip Strong." It is founded on the well-known novel 
of that name by Rev. Charles M. Sheldon, and is what I call a thor- 
oughly well prepared script. Through an error, credit for the screen 
adaptation was given to Francis M. Neilson. Full credit for the 
screen version is due to Everett McNeil, a photoplaywright and 
fiction writer of long experience, who has been selected by Mr. L. W. 
McChesney to devote himself exclusively to the production of 
adaptations and original stories for director Richard Ridgely. The 
wisdom of giving credit when and where credit is due should be 
apparent to every studio manager who has the good of his firm at 
heart. 





jincj In 

Council 



It has long been my opinion that whereas the average American 
author of the first class can write a thoroughly convincing story of 
English life, the average English author — also of the first class — 
either cannot or does not try to make his stories of American life 
really convincing — to American readers, at least. Richard Harding 
Davis can write a story of London life that, if it were not signed, 
would easily pass for the work of an English writer; his "In the 
Fog" might be cited as a good example. On the other hand, take 
"The Mistake of the Machine/' a story in "The Wisdom of Father 
Brown," the second volume of stories detailing the adventures of 
that delightfully entertaining priest-detective, by Gilbert K. Chester- 
ton. This story is supposed to take place in Illinois, and mixed in 
with references to "convict settlements" and American detectives 
with "lanky legs" we read of "petroleum" (in the sense in which it 
is here used we call it oil, coal oil or kerosene in America), "rum" 
(meaning odd), and "barmaids." Chesterton uses, of course, the 
American who l 'reckons " that such-and-such is the case, and who also 
says "I know you don't cotton to the idea," but the landscape is 
covered with "hedges" — as it might be in England, though hardly 
in Illinois, "on the edge of the prairie," as the author describes it. 
In an American newspaper paragraph street urchins are called by 
the distinctively British name of "larrikins." Though the story is 
placed in 1895, there is a reference to the electrical (sic) chair, and a 
"motor garage." Twenty years ago garages and motors were far 
from common. Finally the story ends with an account of a man 
stepping "into the steering seat of a pretty high-toned Panhard" to 
go out for a "joy-ride." Few of us, I imagine, heard much about 
Panhards — or Fords, even — and "joy-rides" in the year 1895! 
Altogether, as an attempt to write a story with an American back- 
ground and American local color, this particular "Father Brown" 
narrative is decidedly unconvincing, and for that reason much less 
interesting than others in the book in which the writer shows that he 
knows his field and does not use terminology that is foreign to his 
locale. — Arthur Leeds. 

The following sentence appears in the December Cosmopolitan, 
in a story called "Out of the Sky," by Holworthy Hall. It seems to 
me an example of obscuring the real meaning by straining for origi- 
nality of expression. 

"Two minutes later entered the man whose card had lent 
the impression that his name was John H. Brady." 
In reality the man was John H. Brady, but my first impression 
was that a piece of deception was being practised. I had to read 



CRITICS IN COUNCIL 35 



further to see that this was not so — that the writer did not so intend 
it, and that it was simply a catchy way of bringing in John H. Brady. 

— Lilian W. Smith. 

In Richard Harding Davis' charming story, "The Log of the 
Jolly Polly/' in the October Metropolitan, the narrator lands at New 
Bedford with a valise which he "checks at the office of the line." 
Later, when about to rescue "the lovely lady" from an approaching 
automobile, he drops the "suitcase" and "jumped into the street." 
Surely, those writers with "names" make mistakes, too. 

— A. T. Strong. 

Irwin Cobb's "Blacker Than Sin," in The Saturday Evening 
Post for November 27, contains one sentence in which the split 
infinitive is used: "From the beginning there had been pity for the 
woman who, the better to everlastingly parade her shame. . . ." 
Perhaps this mistake was made in the printing, as Mr. Cobb studi- 
ously avoids the awkward form. — A. T. Strong. 

Ha, ha, I've caught you tripping! In your humorous criticism 
of a sentence in J. Phillips Oppenheimer's "The Hillman" (see 
Critics in Council, Writer's Monthly for November), you miss the 
the fact that the "corn" is a kind of generic term, inasmuch as it is 
applied to any cereal grain, and is generally used to mean the pre- 
vailing grain of that special country — thus, corn in Scotland means 
oats, in England, wheat, in the United States, maize. (See Century 
Dictionary, Corn, 2.) So it was just as right that Mr. Oppenheimer 
should say the sheaves of wheat stood in the cornfields as that you 
might say the shocks of maize stood in the cornfields. But I grant 
you that you hedged very successfully in your modest disclaimer of 
interest in agriculture. — Mary Davoren Chambers. 

The Editor acknowledges the corn, but alleges, in extenuation, that Mr. Oppenheimer's story- 
was printed in America, as well as in England, and here we do not recognize the generic term when 
applied in so unusual a way. 

In "A Specimen Script" by Arthur Leeds, in the September 
Writer's Monthly, I notice (page 90) a leader, "He's Broken His 
Leg in Falling from His Horse." 

The hero, a young western rancher, breaks his leg in falling from 
his horse. There are two defects apparent in this leader: First, a 
westerner, supposedly familiar with horses and used to riding, would 
not be caught falling from his horse. He might be thrown from his 
horse or the horse might fall with him. Second, in case he actually 
did fall from his horse, he would be much more likely to sustain a 
broken arm or collar bone than a leg. This also would be the case 
if he chanced to be thrown from his horse, but should the horse fall 
with him, a broken leg might be the result. I never have written a 
photoplay but I have been thrown from a horse or two and have had 
different horses fall with me, but to fall from a horse — that would be 
eternal disgrace. — George W. Tintinger. 



I have learned to make over my stories until they are salable. 
"We do not consider it very plausible," wrote an editor in rejecting a 
story, "for we cannot imagine a boy so young in a situation of this 
sort and emerging from it in the manner in which he does." 

The editor was mistaken as to the essential plausibilty of this 
story, for when I rewrote it from a boy's viewpoint it was accepted by 
the editor of a youths' magazine. There is no better judge of plausi- 
bility, and no keener critic,than the youth of from fourteen to eighteen. 
Again, "I am afraid this is a little bit too conventional and 
ordinary in its idea to quite hit the mark," resulted in another make- 
over that did hit the mark, with a boys' weekly. A story whose 
characters were a man and a dog was declined by the same editor 
because it was "too long-drawn-out." One of the characters was 
changed to a youth, the action expanded and the story "drawn out" 
to twice its original length. It was snapped up with avidity by a 
youths' publication. 

I do not wish to criticize "my friend the editor" for his persistent 
rejection of my efforts; rather I have to thank him, for the little 
success I have met with in writing fiction is largely due to his encour- 
aging rejections. No less than nine of his personal letters of rejection 
are before me. Surely a busy editor who would take the time to 
write those letters would not do so unless he saw promise in my work. 

I never have succeeded in pleasing this particular editor with a 
short-story, although he did take several short articles. One of my 
early efforts elicited the opinion that "it is rather well done, and 
you ought to be able to do something worth while with a better 
idea," and some time later he asked for "something bigger and more 
dramatic," saying, "I am sure that you can do it." 

With the belief that my work was not " ripe " — that I lacked expe- 
rience and needed a drill in character development — I turned my 
attention to the field of juvenile fiction where the action need not be 
so tense so long as there is action. This seems to me to be the 
natural way of developing — growing up with one's characters, so to 
speak. I have been moderately successful with juvenile fiction, and 
incidentally, I have disposed of several stories of the more mature 
type. 

The moral to be drawn from my experience is that one who would 
write a "big" story must have lived a life of wide and intense expe- 
rience. Writing juvenile fiction at the beginning is a means of 
growing up logically. But to write boys' stories one must have been a 
boy. You cannot "write down" to a boy any more than you can 
"write up" to a man. — A. H. Dreher. 

Proposition I., from the Writer's Euclid! 

The more articles you have rejected the more you will be likely to sell. 



EXPERIENCE MEETING 37 

For, a large number of rejections, and getting used to their 
coming, should result in an attitude of ease and indifference to them 
on your part, so that instead of this "scrap of paper" taking the light 
out of the day and making you so depressed you are not fit to work for 
a week, you will now be able both keenly and. impartially to study the 
returned manuscript. If it is bad — and by the time it is returned you 
should have cooled off sufficiently to recognize its faults — you will 
plan its revision ; if it is good — and unless you know when your stuff is 
good you will never succeed as a writer — you will feel sorry for the 
editor who could not use it, and you will select another whose maga- 
zine is of the right sort for this fine work. Thus both your work, and 
your discretion about placing it, should steadily improve. Hence : 

The more articles you have rejected the more you will be likely 
to sell, which was to be proved. 

— An Oft-Rejected Seller 

After having sold "The Awakening Hour" to the Essanay Com- 
pany I submitted a photoplay to the Famous Players Company for 
Mary Pickford. It was returned with a letter saying that if I could 
strengthen it, putting in more drama, etc., it would stand a good 
chance, as it was a capital idea. So you see I am not working entirely 
in the dark. Besides, I have learned to "play the game," even if I 
do see the same plot that I have had returned, released by the same 
company a few months later with all the Catholic touches, even to 
the wording of a letter-insert which I had in mind. But the older 
writers all insist that nearly everyone who writes thinks of the same 
things, so I have learned to burn my plots after such occurrences and 
start on new ones. — Anne Scannell O'Neill. 

The Authors' League of America has adopted a system for its members by 
which they may have copies of their photoplays filed and registered. This will 
be prima facie evidence of any such infringement as the above. Only when 
writers have protected themselves in some such way as this will dishonest pro- 
ducers be brought to book. — The Editor. 

In reading over your very instructive volume, "Writing the 
Photoplay," I came upon a description of how to get the title or any 
other wording exactly in the center of the page. Your book says 
that one should take a separate piece of paper and "guess" what it 
would approximately be. I happen to know that there is an absolute 
rule by which you can find this information. Here it is : 

To get the title or other wording exactly in the center of the 
page, count the number of letters, including spaces, in the title; sub- 
tract this from the total amount of spaces on the space bar, and 
divide by two the balance that is left. This will give you the exact 
number on which to start your title. For example, let me take the 
title in the book, "The Rajah's Heir." Including the spaces, there 
are 33 spaces in this title. Subtract this from the number of spaces 
on the space bar of an ordinary typewriter, which is 75, and you 
have 42. Divide this 42 by two, and you have 21. If you start 
your title on 21, it will come exactly in the center of the page — that 
is, if your margin on each side of the machine is the same. 

— Henry M. Lethert. 



The first, and the longest, step toward achieving distinction in 
writing is to think distinguished thoughts — the most clever technique 
imaginable cannot totally cover their absence. — J. B. E. 

Next to the typewriter, a good camera should be the most 
important tool in the writer's shop. That writers in general do not 
own and intelligently use a camera is apparent, as we glance at the 
pages of the best magazines. Most of the photo-illustrations bear 
the copyright of the well-known New York photograph brokers. 

— A. T. Strong. 

Perhaps I never understood compression until my companion 
and I found ourselves in England with the trunks full of stuff which 
we had brought across the Atlantic. In London we prepared for a 
winter's walking tour in France, where it was necessary to substitute 
haversacks for trunks. Let the haversack represent the short-story. 
We had to remember that whatever we packed must be carried, and 
every ounce counted at the end of a day's march. It was necessary 
to cut out every article not absolutely needed and yet to retain suf- 
ficient to look presentable when we applied for rooms, or spent a 
week-end in town. — Eunice Buchanan. 

As the tree, ambitious to send its branches high in the air, sends 
its roots deeper, and grips more firmly the soil from which it derives 
its energy, so does the wise writer devote himself earnestly to keeping 
himself in splendid physical trim — avoids stimulants, takes plenty 
of exercise, and, in order to become mentally athletic, first does what 
he may to become physically so. Strong, well-balanced work cannot 
come steadily and regularly from one physically neglected or abused. 

— Ellen E. de Graff. 

This contributor is right. Stevenson was a chronic sufferer and Csesar, a victim of epilepsy, 
but each triumphed over handicaps by nursing what bodily strength he had. — Editor. 

The beginner describes, the expert characterizes. The former 
tells, the latter vivifies. The one gives time to detail and specifica- 
tion, the other concentrates a revealing light on the one significant 
element in character that makes it solely itself and not another. 

— Karl von Kraft. 

Read more than you write, think more than you read. 

— A. L. Burian. 

Mere facts do not make a story real. Truth may have no resi- 
dence in facts, for truth is something that lies within. A lie may be 
a fact, and hence real enough, but truth inhabits all realism that is 
worthy of the name. — R. N. Tate. 

The plot builder must ask himself these three questions, and not 
stop short of the last: Is my every plot incident possible? Is it 
probable? Is it plausible? And plausibility is the most necessary 
quality of all.— M. C. C. 



The Blue Moon: We have received several serious criticisms of the methods 
used by Mr. Alexander Jessup, the editor of The Blue Moon, whose announce- 
ment appeared in a previous issue of The Writer's Monthly. We suggest that 
our readers write to Mr. Jessup's references before sending in material to this 
magazine. We have seen one letter from his publication which seems to indicate 
that the chief purpose in securing a reading of manuscripts is to suggest that the 
writer pay for criticism of his work. We cannot commend any such system as 
this and wish our readers to understand our attitude as being unqualifiedly 
against the exploitation of contributors. 

The following statement was received from Hugh J. Hughes, editor, Farm, 
Stock and Home, Minneapolis, Minn.: "We are not in the market at the present 
time for stories or special articles of any kind outside of the matter which is pre- 
pared by our own staff. We receive a great many stories, poems and a considera- 
ble volume of agricultural matter, which we are compelled to return, and we wish 
to make it clear that the only material that we can use is agricultural matter 
prepared by practical farmers on farm topics relating to agriculture in the North- 
west." 

The Popular Science Monthly, 239 Fourth Ave., New York, is published in 
the interest of a very wide reading public which has no technical knowledge, but 
which is deeply interested in scientific and industrial matters. Hence articles 
submitted must be simply worded and must be free from technical expressions. 
Pictures are indispensable in order to drive home the new point described. A 
reasonable amount of imagination may be exercised in discussing new inventions 
and scientific discoveries, particularly in commenting upon their possibilities, 
but the writer should never go so far as to arouse distrust. The fullest credit 
should be given to inventors and discoverers, so as to fasten announcements upon 
the person who is responsible. The magazine is also interested in curious hap- 
penings and curious phenomena, but here too photographs or pictures of some 
kind are indispensable. Payment is made on acceptance at the rate of one cent 
a word for text matter, and from $1.00 to $3.00 for photographs. 

The American Bee Journal, Hamilton, 111., is a monthly publication devoted 
to the interests of the honey producers. Fiction, poetry and general articles, 
outside of beekeeping, are never used. Articles to be acceptable must be timely 
and of a practical nature. New methods in honey production or marketing, new 
equipment, or practical short-cuts, are especially desired. Good photographs 
are always acceptable. Pictures of beehives or apiaries, unless they illustrate 
some special point, are not desired. In general, material is reported on promptly 
when submitted, and payment is made on publication. The rate of payment 
depends entirely on the value of the material. 

Ainslee's Magazine, New York City, is in need of short fiction under 5,000 
words, and novelettes of from 25,000 to 30,000 words in length. Love stories 
of the present day, with an American interest either through setting or one or 
more of the characters, are preferred. In general, manuscripts are reported on 
within two weeks and payment is made upon acceptance. 



Rat Long, editor of the Green Book, Red Book and Blue Book Magazines, 
Chicago, writes: "We use serials of 80,000 to 100,000 words in length, and short 
fiction of 4,000 to 7,000 words. Verse or special articles are not used, but anecdotes 
of theater or writing folk are available. We need book-length novels of 40,000 
to 65,000 words. We would like to see someone 'spring something new' in the 



40 WHERE TO SELL 

way of humorous fiction. It is more difficult to find than any other kind. We 
report upon manuscripts submitted within eight days, and pay upon acceptance." 

Youth's Companion, Boston, Mass., can use short stories of 2,000 to 3,500 
words in length. The stories should be of and for American boys and girls, but 
not really juvenile stories. They also use humor and anecdotes. Manuscripts 
are reported on within a month, and payment is made upon acceptance. 

The following statement is sent by The People's Popular Monthly, Des Moines, 
la.: "We use very little except stories. These should be, preferably, western 
stories of adventure and from three to four thousand words in length. We also 
use a few pictures of unusual people or objects, each picture to be accompanied 
by a write-up of from 100 to 200 words." 

Serials of from 20,000 to 22,000 words in length, in six installments, are in 
demand by The Designer, New York City. The magazine is also much in need 
of verse. Manuscripts are reported on within ten days, and payment is made 
upon acceptance. 

People's Magazine, New York City, occasionally uses serials of 60,000 to 
80,000 words in length. At present they are in need of short fiction of from 1,000 
to 5,000 words in length. This must contain adventure, mystery, strong heart 
interest, and humor suitable for male readers. Manuscripts are reported on within 
five days, and payment is made upon acceptance. 

Love stories of from 3,000 to 4,000 words in length are in the greatest de- 
mand by the Woman's Home Companion, 381 Fourth Ave., New York. Serials 
of any length, from two to seven or eight installments (each installment not 
exceeding the length of a short-story) are also needed. A few special articles, 
no humor or anecdotes, no serious poetry, and only a small quantity of lighter 
verse are used by this magazine. They are never over-supplied with any kind of 
material. Manuscripts are generally reported upon within two weeks and pay- 
ment is made promptly on acceptance. 

The Sloan Syndicate, Inc., 303 Fifth Ave., New York, are in the market 
for short-stories of not less than 1,500 words, and not over 2,000 words, and for 
the exclusive rights to these stories they will pay a price for each paper that uses 
it in accordance with the size of the city and will guarantee the writer a small, 
but reasonable amount. Payments are made weekly following publication date, 
at which time the writer will be supplied with a list of the papers using the story. 

Canada Monthly, London, Ont., Can., frequently uses short fiction of from 
2,500 to 3,500 words; also special articles, dealing with live and interesting 
Canadian subjects. This last point is imperative. Manuscripts are reported 
on within thirty days, and payment is made upon publication. 

Verse, dealing with motion pictures, of not more than twenty-five lines each, 
and special articles that can be illustrated, about motion pictures or players, are 
in demand by the Picture Play Magazine, New York City. Manuscripts receive 
prompt reading and decision, and payment is made upon acceptance. 

Miss Grace George announces that she will award a prize of $1,000, for 
the best play submitted to her by a college student. The prize-winning 
play will be produced by Miss George and her repertory company, which she has 
established at the Playhouse, New York. In addition to the $1,000, the author 
will be paid royalties according to regular arrangements. The judges selected by 
Miss George include a metropolitan dramatic critic, a well-known playwright, 
and a recognized stage director, whose names will be given out later. The only 
conditions governing the contest are that the subject of the play must be American 
and modern, and the author must be a bona fide student in an American college 
or university up to the time the contest closes, which will be at the end of the 
current college year, June 1, 1916. Students should have authorization from their 
faculties to enter the contest. 



WHERE TO SELL 41 

Mr. L. W. McChesney, Manager, Motion Picture Division, Thomas A. 
Edison, Incorporated, Bedford Park, N. Y., advises us that they are not buying 
scripts for the present — "with the exception that we are in position to give con- 
sideration to an occasional five-reel drama of exceptional merit." 

A competition is offered by The National Security League for a prize of 
$250 to be awarded to the author of the best essay on the subject, "National 
Security as it Involves the Preparation and Use of the Citizenry." 

Following are the rules of the contest : 1. Competition is open to all. 2. The 
essay shall consist of not less than 4,000 and not more than 5,000 words. 3. Each 
competitor shall send three typewritten or printed copies of his essay in a sealed 
envelope marked "Militia Essay," to reach the League on or before February 1, 
1916. The essay must be strictly anonymous; the author shall adopt some nom 
de plume and sign the same to the essay, followed by a figure corresponding with 
the number of the pages of MS.; a sealed envelope bearing the nom de plume 
on the outside and enclosing full name and address, must accompany the essay. 
This envelope will be opened in the presence of the Executive Committee after 
the decision of the Board of Award has been received. 4. The prize shall be 
awarded upon the recommendation of a Board consisting of three suitable persons 
chosen by the Executive Committee, who will be requested to designate the 
essay deemed worthy of the prize; and also in their order of merit those deserving 
of honorable mention. 5. The essays submitted shall be the property of the 
League which reserves the right to publish any or all thereof. Address National 
Security League, Inc., 31 Pine Street, New York City. 

Three prizes of S750, $250, and $100 each are being offered by The National 
Educational Association for the best essays on the subject of Thrift. An out- 
line of a method by which the principles of thrift may be taught in our public 
schools should be included. Any one wishing to compete for these prizes 
should notify at once the Secretary of The National Educational Associa- 
tion, Ann Arbor, Mich., of their intention. All essays must be in the hands of 
the Secretary not later than March 1, 1916. Essays must not exceed five 
thousand words and six typewritten copies must be presented. Those wishing 
further details should write to the Secretary. 

North American Corporation, 111 Broadway, N. Y., wants one-, two- 
and three-reel dramas, and one- and two-reel straight comedies. 

World Advance, 32 Union Square, New York, states that they are interested 
in securing photographs showing freaks of nature, pictures from foreign countries 
of exceptional interest, oddities, new inventions, new discoveries, etc., to be used 
in the department entitled, "The World's Picture Gallery," which contains a large 
number of photographs with only a few words of description. For such photo- 
graphs as they accept they pay attractive prices on publication. 

The Countryside Magazine, 334 Fourth Ave., New York, is in the market for 
special articles dealing with the human side of countryside fife and work; 
home-building; interior decorating experiences; the garden; the greenhouse; 
the poultry-yard ; and subj ects on architecture, agriculture and horticulture. These 
subjects should all be well illustrated, though sometimes articles are accepted 
without illustrations. No article should contain more than 2,500 words. Manu- 
scripts are usually reported on within thirty days, and payment is made on 
publication. Rates of payment vary with the merit of the article or illustration, and 
their position in the magazine. Paragraphs are used for fillers. 

The Poetry Journal, published by The Four Seas Company, Boston, has 
announced a prize of $100, donated by the Players' Producing Company, of 
Chicago, for a one-act play in metrical verse or vers libre; the play to be American 
in subject or substance, and to be actable. Decision is to be made by the staff 
of Poetry and the donors, who reserve the right to withhold the prize if no suita- 
ble plays come in. The prize-winner will be published in the magazine, and the 
Players' Producing Company will have the acting rights, customary royalties 
being given. All plays must be received at the office of The Poetry Journal before 
February 1, 1916. The manuscript must not be signed, but a sealed envelope 
must accompany it, containing the title, the name of the author, and a stamped 
self-addressed envelope for return. 



The Writer's 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwein 



Entered at the Spring6eld, Massachusetts, 
Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by The Home Corre- 
spondence School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

Vol. VII January, 1916 No. 1 



Our friends continue to pour 
in words of commendation for 
The Writer's Monthly — we 
could fill an issue with such 
gracious expressions. Three, 
however, ought especially to 
interest our readers, and they 
mightily please us. Here they 
are: 

Month by month, copies of The 
Writer's Monthly, edited by that 
literary veteran, J. Berg Esenwein, 
are swimming into my ken. It is 
crisp, comprehensive, able — a highly 
valuable help for the young writer — 
yes, helpful to all writers regardless of 
age. — Edwin Markham. 

I find The Writer's Monthly full 
of helpful material for all who aspire to 
write. I am particularly glad to com- 
mend it as a helpful guide to writers 
who do not feel able to walk this diffi- 
cult path alone. — Jack London. 

I used to own and edit a magazine 
for writers — The Magazine Maker of 
the dear, departed days — and so I 
appreciate what it means to get out a 
magazine that is of real help and in- 
spiration to the writing craft. Let me 
tell you, as a former publisher, that 
your magazine has the heft; it's thick 
through the shoulder. Looking at it 
professionally, it is still in its first shoes 
— but one of these days it is going to be 
sloshing around in a pair of Number 9's 
of its own. — Homer Croy. 

To get letters of this sort is 
even better compensation than 
our incredibly large salary check. 



The "Book List" has been 
omitted this month — the depart- 
ment has not been discontinued. 

A short story, say the writers of text- 
books and the teachers of sophomores, 
should deal with but a single episode. 
That dictum is probably true; but it 
admits of wider interpretation than is 
generally given it. The teller of tales, 
anxious to escape from restriction, but 
not avid of being cast into the outer 
darkness of the taboo, can in self-justi- 
fication become as technical as any 
lawyer. The phrase "a single episode " 
is loosely worded. The rule does not 
specify an episode in one man's life; 
it might be in the life of a family, or a 
State, or even of a whole people. In 
that case the action might cover many 
lives. It is a way out for those who 
have a story to tell, a limit to tell it 
within, but who do not wish to embroil 
themselves too seriously with the august 
makers of the rules. — Stewart Ed- 
ward White, in "The Tide," a story 
which appeared in the Oct. 16, 1915, 
number of Collier's. 

It would be interesting to 
know where the gifted Mr. 
White found this sweeping rule. 
If by "episode" he means " inci- 
dent' ' — and the two words are 
not in the least cognate — we 
know of no such dictum. If by 
"episode" he means "situation" 
— though why the one should 
connote the other is hard to con- 
jecture — the "rule" might be a 
good one, if there were such 
things as valid rules for writing 
fiction. How long will it take a 
certain type of writer to learn 
this fact: When critics try to 
show the development of a 
single situation (not necessarily 
merely a single incident) in such 
a way as to show a crisis and 
reveal its outcome, the whole 
resulting in a single impression, 
we have a short-story. The 
critic does not say you must or 
even should write a short narra- 
tive according to such a formula ; 
what he says is that stories writ- 
ten with regard for unity of situa- 
tion, well-defined crisis, satisfy- 



EDITORIAL 



43 



ing outcome, compression of treat- 
ment, and singleness of effect, are 
so clearly in a class by them- 
selves that we are justified in 
calling them short-stories, and 
not merely stories that are short. 
No critic whose word is worth 
considering would venture to 
say that a straight-forward chain 
of events, without clear crisis 
and its resolution, could not be as 
fascinating a story as any plotted 
yarn that was ever spun, and the 
fact that the critic calls the 
former a tale and the latter a 
short-story is making merely a 
distinction, not trying to hamper 
writers. To aver anything else is 
idle. 

The conclusion of the whole 
matter seems to be that Mr. 
White had a rambling tale to tell 
and he wished to prepare an 
"alibi" for fear some silly techni- 
cian might arise to call him to 
book. Mr. White has carefully 
set up a straw man and — hasn't 
even knocked him down. 



oughly readable house organ, Mr. 
Lengel is winning notice. 



When all our readers show a 
practical interest by sending us 
fresh items about markets, brief, 
polished " Paragraphic Punches," 
pertinent criticisms for "Critics 
in Council," and experiences of 
all helpful sorts for "Experience 
Meeting," The Writer's 
Monthly will be more your own 
indispensable magazine than 
ever. 



William C. Lengel, whose de- 
lightful raillery of Brett Page is 
quite in harmony with preceding 
articles in our "So You'll Know 
Them Better" series, is a close 
friend of the subject of his appre- 
ciation-lampoon. As the editor 
of Hoggson's Magazine, a thor- 



Have you noticed the eight 
extra pages this month? And 
would you like us to add them as 
a permanency? Then help us 
grow by sending us a new sub- 
scriber — and try not to stop with 
one. Show the magazine to 
your friends in that little circle of 
writers to which you belong; 
ask the teachers of literary art in 
any form in your local university, 
college or school to recommend 
it to his pupils; send us a list of 
those who are genuinely inter- 
ested in writing and let us send 
each a specimen copy. What 
responsibility do you feel in the 
matter of having your magazine 
grow? 



In our November issue we 
printed a poem entitled "An 
Encomium". The editor of The 
Editor informs us that this 
verse appeared some time ago 
in his magazine. It is due both 
to The Editor and The Writer's 
Monthly that we should say 
that we had no knowledge of this 
whatever, as we bought the poem 
from its author and made regular 
compensation. It is needless to 
say that we regret the occurrence, 
for which, however ; we feel no 
responsibility. It is also due the 
author to publish her explana- 
tion, which is that, having re- 
ceived from The Editor a letter 
saying they did not print 
contributions from non-subscrib- 
ers, she inferred that her poem 
would not be used and therefore 
offered it to us. The Writer's 
Monthly believes this error to 
have been an entirely innocent 
one. 



H. C. S. Folks 

G. W. Smith, Jr., of Maud, Pa., contributes to the Mutual 
Magazine an interesting article descriptive of the Railroad Teleg- 
raphers Contest which was conducted at the Panama-Pacific Ex- 
position in San Francisco, August 27, 1915. Mr. Smith won the 
first prize for receiving messages, over a large field of contestants. 

Cora Drew, of Los Angeles, appeared in the Mutual release 
(Dec. 8th) "Her Mother's Daughter," having a prominent role. She 
has also appeared in several Griffith productions recently. 

Mary Eleanor Roberts, Philadelphia, has an unusual story in 
January McCall's. It is entitled "A Shepherd of the Lord." 

William Morgan Hannon, New Orleans, has produced an inter- 
esting and valuable little book in "The Photodrama — Its Place 
Among the Fine Arts." The volume is published by The Ruskin 
Press, New Orleans. Mr. Hannon is the scenario editor of the Nola 
Film Company of that city and is also a careful student of the short- 
story form. 

M. B. Miller, of Johnson City, Tenn., has a lively story in a 
recent issue of the Woodworker, entitled "The Blue Package." 

Mrs. Cora B. Pierce, Newtown, Conn., has a charming little 
love story in the Chicago Tribune for October 2nd. 

Dr. John J. Mullowney, Paxtang, Pa., has gotten out a very 
attractive "Peace Calendar and Diary" for 1916. The profits for 
this enterprise will go to help the Peace Movement and the war 
victims of Europe. The price of this calendar is $1.00, or eighty 
cents to members of peace societies, the clergy, or teachers. 

Edith M. Cleaver, of Philadelphia, has sold more than twenty 
stories during the last twenty-six months. 

Mrs. Will McGinnis is the author of "Liza's Christmas Box" 
a two-act play which was recently presented by The Lyceum Com- 
pany in East St. Louis, 111. 

Alice Gray of Pittsburg is joint-author with Blair Hall of a two- 
part novel, "The Other Half of the Loaf," which was featured in the 
two November issues of Snappy Stories. Miss Gray is connected 
with the Fox Film Corporation in the Pittsburg division. 

Philip H. LeNoir as secretary of the Las Vegas Commercial 
Club, originated and launched a unique campaign in the moving 



H. C. S. FOLKS 45 

picture journals " playing up" the scenic and climatic advantages 
of Las Vegas for photoplay work. The campaign was so successful 
that it was practically instrumental in bringing to the New Mexico 
city the Selig Western Company, and also was the means of having 
the National Bible Play Society, a million dollar corporation, estab- 
lish its headquarters at Las Vegas. The latter company will insti- 
tute a Sacred Play somewhat after the order of Oberammergau. 

The November number of The Sample Case, contains a short 
story, "How Bill Lost His Girl/' by Berta M. Coombs, of Oklahoma 
City. Miss Coombs is corresponding secretary of the Oklahoma 
Authors' Club. 

L. H. Cobb, Kansas City, Kans., has written over five hundred 
articles in the last twenty-six months, and has sold over two-thirds 
of them, receiving checks from twenty-five different papers. " Win- 
dow Garden Bulbs" is the title of one which appeared in the Novem- 
ber Holland's. 

Earl G. Curtis, Richmond, Va., has a short-story entitled "The 
Marksman," in the December Ten Story Book. 

S. A. Van Petten, Chicago, is the author of three current photo- 
play releases; "The Baby and the Leopard," a Selig, Jungle-Zoo 
drama; "A Tangle in Hearts," a casino star comedy; and "Lillian's 
Husbands," a Vitagraph star feature. 

The December Woman's Magazine contains a Christmas play 
for young people, "When Santa Claus Went Bankrupt," by Anna 
Phillips See, of Brooklyn, N. Y. 

Emma Gary Wallace, Auburn, N. Y., has an article, "Marrying 
a Man to Reform Him," in the December Mother's Magazine. 

W. Dayton Wegefarth, Philadelphia, has a poem, "The Christ- 
mas World" in the December number of The Book News Monthly. 
Mr. Wegefarth's charming dog story of his pet "bum," which 
appeared lately in the same magazine, has been brought out by Sully 
and Kleinteich as an illustrated book. 

Chesla C. Sherlock, Des Moines, la., has a short editorial en- 
titled, "Those Who Work" in the November Modern Methods; 
also an article, "Paint and Polish," in the December Fra. 

Anne Scannell O'Neill, St. Louis, Mo., is doing some particularly 
clever feature work for the St. Louis Republic in both its daily and 
Sunday issues. She is also the author of the recent Essanay release, 
"The Awakening Hour." 

Arthur Peabody Bond, Hillsdale, Md., has a short story in the 
Ten Story Book for January. 

James De Camp, the Managing Editor of The Highland Park 
Herald, Cleveland, is not only contributing clever editorials to his own 
paper, but is doing effective feature work for The Los Angeles Times. 







No questions can be answered by mail, nor can we supply names of players taking part in 
oertain pictures. Questions relating to the writing, sale, and production of photoplays and other 
literary forms will be answered in this column, but readers are asked to make their letters brief 
and to the point. 



CHAPTER "A," MINN.— We suggest that you try Mrs. Rachel West 
Clement, 6646 Germantown Ave., Philadelphia. We believe this literary agent 
to be reliable. She requires a reading fee of $1.00 for 5,000 words or under which 
includes a short criticism. 

C. N. J., SAGINAW. — The technical difference between a tale and a short- 
story is this: A tale, strictly speaking, consists of a chain of incidents without 
any plot complication — merely a succession of events which lead from one point 
to another. For instance, a series of interesting happenings in anyone's life 
might be made into a tale. A short-story, as we understand the term technically 
today, must have a plot, by which we mean some clash of wills or of interests that 
results in a struggle. How this struggle turns out really constitutes the plot of 
the short-story. 

JACK WRIGHT. — We decidedly think that a successful newspaper experi- 
ence would be valuable in either short-story writing or photoplay writing, because 
human interest and ability to "see a story" lie at the foundation of both of these 
arts. 

A. D. W., PITTSBURGH.— (1) You probably mean the number of words 
to be used in the synopsis of a five-reel subject. There is no limit. Do not waste 
a word, do not use unnecessary words. Tell the plot of your story in a clear, 
comprehensive way. If the story has vitality and freshness your synopsis will be 
read, regardless of (reasonable) length. (2) Since each Bust is a separate scene, 
each must have its own number. (3) The Vision is written in as a part of the 
scene. When the man in the dining room is shown as looking at the vision which 
fades in at one corner, and then fades out, the effect is termed a vision. What 
you probably mean, from the question's wording, is the fading out of the dining 
room scene, then the fading in of the hospital room, this in turn fading out to 
fade in the dining room again — is called the fade-out and fade-in. In using the 
vision, it is written as a part of the scene. In using the fade-out and fade-in, each 
of the three scenes is consecutively numbered, each being a separate scene. 
(4) Your question is not clear. As the vision is explained above, you will see that 
no matter how many are used, they are simply a part of the scene or scenes into 
which they are introduced. (5) "Back to scene" is not used after a vision. You 
merely say that the vision fades out or disappears. "Back to scene" is used 
after a cut in leader or other insert in a scene. (6) Your meaning is not quite 
clear as to the "little dashes." In leaders, as well as in stories (fiction) dashes 
are often introduced to indicate that the speaker hesitates or is under great 
emotional stress, as "He is — gone!" indicating a gasp or pause to command some 
great emotion at discovering the fact stated. In the example you give, the dashes 

could not be used instead of the word "love" ("My, how I her!") for the 

blank might mean hate or any other word. It would be thus if the intent is to 
indicate hesitation, "My, how I — love her." (7) A careful study of the screen 
would be a far better way to answer for yourself which companies use male leads. 
Also, read the trade papers, which record the stories of the films and the plans 
and movements of the actors and manufacturers. As to addresses, the " Moving 
Picture World's Photopiaywright Department" will send an up-to-date list for 
a stamped, self-addressed envelope. 



Short-Story Writing 

A COURSE of forty lessons in the history, form 
structure, and writing of the Short-Story taught by 
Dr. J. Berg Esenwein, formerly Editor of Lippin- 
cott's Magazine. 

Story-writers must be made as well as born; they 
must master the details of construction if they would 
turn their talents to account. 

May we send you the names of students and gradu- 
ates who have succeeded? And the success their let- 
ters prove is practical. It means recognition, accepted 
manuscripts and checks from editors. 

One student, before completing the les- 
sons, received over $1000 for manuscripts 
sold to Woman's Home Companion, 
Pictorial Review, McCall's, and other 

leading magazines. 
Dr.. Esenwein 

We also offer courses ic Photoplay Writing, Poetry 
and Verse Writing, Journalism; in all over One Hundred Home Study Courses, many of 
them under professors in Harvard, Brown, Cornell, and other leading colleges. 

250-Page Catalog Free. Please Address 

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What's Your 

Mental Attitude? 

DO YOU KNOW that the wrong kind of 
suggestion — ofttimes unconsciously given 
— brings failure? 

DO YOU KNOW that many diseases are 
the result of bad habits of thought? 
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an analysis of self and a changed view- 

?oint? 
f you are not developing as you should, 
are unhappy, discouraged or ailing you 
owe it to yourself to investigate New 
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attitude toward life and consequent success 
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how to fl ew Thought 

by the well known writer, Florence Morae 
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tion of New Thought. 

C/n.1 1A*» you can get a copy of "How to 
Tor 1UC Use New Thought" with 3 
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leading advocate of New Thought for 
health, wealth and happiness, Elizabeth 
Towne and William E. Towne, editors; 
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ular contributors. Send now and we will 
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Thought" by Ella Wheeler Wilcox. The 
Elizabeth Towne Co., Dept. 929, 
Holyoke, Mass. 



OUR SCRIPT 
CRITICISM SERVICE 

Up till now our charge for giving an 
expert criticism on any and all scripts, 
regardless of length, has been two dol- 
lars. In announcing a change we do not 
do so because others are charging more, 
but because we find it absolutely neces- 
sary in view of the increased number of 
multiple-reel scripts which are being 
sent in for criticism. In the future 
therefore, our charge for this service will 
be TWO DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST 
REEL AND ONE DOLLAR FOR 
EACH ADDITIONAL REEL. Writers 
will continue to receive the very best 
and most careful criticisms and sugges- 
tions that Mr. Powell can give them. 

We reserve the right to return any 
script that we deem absolutely un- 
worthy of criticism, making a charge of 
one dollar for reading the script and 
giving the writer an expert opinion of 
the script's merits and short-comings. 
Such a letter will equal the "criticism" 
given by many who offer such service, 
the only difference between this and our 
full criticism service being that Mr. 
Powell will not examine and comment 
upon each and every scene in detail. 
(Fees do not include return postage which 
should always accompany manuscripts). 

The Writer's Monthly 

Springfield, Mass. 



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WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY 

Everyone interested in Photoplay Writing should have a copy 
©f the new and standard work, "Writing the Photoplay," by J. Berg 
Esenwein and Arthur Leeds. The following excerpts are typical 
of the opinions expressed by leading photoplaywrights and editors 
all over the country: 

It is a careful and exact treatise handled intelligently, comprehensively and with authority. 
It will be helpful to all students of photoplay and should find a place in all libraries on 
technique. It is creditable in every way. — Epes Winthrop Sargent 

Thia week and next my department in The Moving Picture News will contain compli- 
ments for your Photoplay Correspondence Course and for the book. The book is the 
best that has come to my attention. As author of the first text-book of any pretensions 
placed on the market for photoplaywrights I desire to congratulate Messrs. Esenwein 
and Leeds. — William Lord Wright. 

"Writing the Photoplay" is issued uniform with "Writing the 
Short-Story," "The Art of Versification," and other volumes of 
THE WRITER'S LIBRARY. IX + 374 pp. Illustrated. Postpaid 
$2.12. 

The Home Correspondence School 
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 



CORRECT ENGLISH- 
HOW TO USE IT. 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE. 

Josephine Turck Baker, Editor. 

Your Everyday 

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HELPS FOR WRITERS 

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And Business English. 

and many other subjects 
Sample copy 10c. 

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SONG LYRICS AND 
MELODIES 

Why try to market a lyric or a 
melody that possesses no commercial 
value? Why become a victim to the 
honeyed words of the song shark? 

A good song by a beginner may not 
bring a fortune in royalties, but if 
properly marketed it will bring some 
financial returns and afford the tyro a 
start. 

The Writer's Monthly for a small 
fee will examine your lyric or song, give 
you a frank and detailed criticism on it, 
tell you whether it has any commercial 
and poetical value, and give you a list 
of publishers most likely to purchase it. 

Should the song contain sufficient 
merit, our Song Department will 
market same for you on a 10% com- 
mission basis, provided you are willing 
to sell your work outright. 
Reading fee for separate lyric . 1.50 
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Address: 

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THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

We have on hand a few complete files of THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
new series, from May, 1913 to May, 1915 (June-July, 1913, being a special 
double number). These twenty-five monthly numbers, placed in your 
working library will give you 840 large pages crammed with instructive 
articles and helpful information for writers. Among the interesting 
features in these numbers of the magazine are the delightfully readable 
personality sketches of Epes Winthrop Sargent, William Lord Wright, 
Marc Edmund Jones, F. Marion Brandon, Horace G. Plimpton, Maibelle 
Heikes Justice, Frank E. Woods. George Fitzmaurice, Russell E. Smith, 
James Dayton, Hettie Gray Baker, C. B. Hoadley, Arthur Leeds, William 
E. Wing, Henry Albert Phillips, John Wm. Kellette, Catherine Carr, 
Phil Lonergan, Raymond L. Schrock, Beta Breuil, Gilson Willetts and 
A. Van Buren Powell. Many of our readers have declared that this 
monthly feature is alone worth the price of a year's subscription. The 
department, "Thinks and Things," has also helped to make this helpful 
little periodical famous. The series of articles on "Photoplay Construc- 
tion," by J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds, running through many 
numbers, should be read by everyone who is seeking to perfect his technical 
knowledge. "Diagnosis and Culture of the Plot Germ," by John A. Mc- 
Collom, Jr., is a series of six articles that will prove invaluable to the 
writer who experiences difficulty in developing the "plot habit," that most 
necessary equipment to a successful literary career. Scores of special 
articles by the most prominent editors, critics, and photoplay writers of 
the day make these issues of the magazine a veritable working library of 
photoplay knowledge. 

While they last, we offer these twenty-five numbers to our readers for 
$2.00. Send your order to 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 



The Art of Story Writing 

By J. Berg Esenwein, Lit.D., author 
of "Studying the Short-Story," "Writ- 
ing the Short-Story," etc., etc., assist- 
ed by Mary Davoren Chambers, M.A., 
Professor in Rockf ord College. 



This is Dr. Esenwein's latest and most 
authoritative word regarding the subject 
on which he is recognized as the leading 
specialist — the Short-Story. Beginning 
with the anecdote, this work simply and 
clearly leads the writer up by easy stages 
to the writing of the complete short-story. 
Every phase of the subjeot is treated so 
fully and in such a delightfully lucid 
style that the self -instructed student finds 
the best story-writing methods open 
before him like a page of large print. 
Cloth, postpaid, $1.35. Order of 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

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One of the Most Entertaining Books Given Free 

This book is used by some for public reading. It will be enjoyed by the 
household. 

DANNY'S OWN STORY 

By Don Marquis 

" I been around the country a good 'eal, too, and seen and hearn of 
some awful remarkable things, and I never seen no one that wasn't more 
or less looney when the search us the femm comes into the case. Which 
is a dago word I got out'n a newspaper and it means, ' Who was the dead 
gent's lady friend?' " 

Danny enters upon the scene nameless, a baby in a basket, abandoned before 
the door of Hank Walters, the blacksmith. From that very minute the fun 
begins — such real, delicious, irresistible fun as only Mark Twain and 0. Henry 
have hitherto furnished the world. 

Autobiographically, Danny says: "There wasn't nothin' perdicted of me, and 
I done like it was perdicted. If they was devilment anywhere about that town 
they all says: 'Danny, he done it.' And like as not I has. So I gets to be what 
you might call an outcast." 

The boy runs away presently with a peripatetic "Doctor," whose mission is to 
make known the wonderful powers of "Siwash Indian Sagrah" : and he plunges 
into the kaleidoscopic life of the patent-medicine fakir, small circus shows, and 
so on, with a zest in life and a human philosophy in his side-splitting humor that 
are quite amazing. Illustrated irresistibly by E. W. Kemble. 

Fixed price, 81.20 (postage 12c.) 
Published by Doubleday, Page & Co., in Cloth Binding 



Some Dannygrams 

"You ain't never comfortable with 
a person you know is more honest 
than you be." 

"I was wondering whether she is 
making fun of me or am I making fun 
of her. Them Irish is like that you 
can never tell which." 

"A man has jest naturally got to 
have something to cuss around and 
boss so's to keep himself from finding 
out he don't amount to nothing." 

"Helping of things grow, he said 
is a good way to understand how 
God must feel about humans. For 
what you plant and help to grow, 
he says, you are sure to get to caring 
a heap about." 

"What you want in poetry to 
make her sound good according to 

my way of thinkings is to make her jump lively and then stop with a bang on 
the rhyme." 

" Another prominent citizen has the idea mabbe ws is figgering on one of these 
inter-Reuben trolley lines." 



A COPY FREE TO YOU 

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Perhaps You Can Do It 

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THE LYCEUM WORLD 

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Department P. M., Indianapolis, Indiana, well known as a successful public 
lecturer, writer, author and contributor to leading periodicals. 

THE LYCEUM WORLD is more and more being recognized as among the 
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public instruction and entertainment, suitable for every man, woman and child 
of intelligence and aspiration. It contains great lectures, original readings, 
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A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 

The Writer's 



Monthly 

Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY AU 



\ 



-j5\ 



rJ 



Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



FEBRUARY, 1916 



NUMBER 2 



1 



I 



I 



IT is indisputably evident that a great part of 
every man's life must be employed in collecting 
materials for the exercise of genius. Invention, 
strictly speaking, is little more than a new combina- 
tion of those images which have been previously 
gathered and deposited in the memory: — nothing 
can come of nothing; he who has laid up no materials 
can produce no combinations. The more extensive 
therefore your acquaintance is with the works of 
those who have excelled, the more extensive will be 
your powers of invention, and, what may appear 
still more like a paradox, the more original will be 
your conceptions. — Sir Joshua Reynolds. 



THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 
Springfield, Mass. 



15 Gents a Copy 



$1.00 a Year 



REAL HELPS FOR WRITERS 

The seven volumes listed below are issued in uniform size and style, printed on 
superior antique book paper, and handsomely and durably bound in cloth, with letter- 
ing in gold and gilt top. Together they constitute the most helpful series of authorita- 
tive working handbooks for the writer's desk. 12 mo., postpaid at prices quoted. 

THE ART OF STORY WRITING. Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
work on Story Writing. A direct and effective guide to actual fictional narration. The 
chapter on plot alone is worth the price of the book to any writer, zi + 211 pp. $1.35. 

WRITING THE SHORT-STORY Esenwein. The standard textbook on the technique 
of the Short-Story. Widely used in colleges and universities. A complete course includ- 
ing theory, models and practice exercises in actual writing, xiv + 441 pp. $1.25. 

STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. A companion book to Writing the 
Short-Story. Sixteen short-story masterpieces, with methods for analysis. No writer 
and no lover of good stories can afford to miss this well-spread feast, xxxii + 488 pp. 
$1.25. 

THE TECHNIQUE OF THE MYSTERY STORY. Carolyn Wells. With introduction 
by Dr. Esenwein. A complete exposition of the mystery story form. A book that stimu- 
lates insight into the methods of successful writers of plotted stories and at the same 
time cultivates fertility in the mind of the reader, ix + 836 pp. $1.62. 

WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
photoplay construction. Recently reported by the New York City Public Library as the 
book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 874 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION. Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii + 810 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An inspirational 
working handbook of instruction for all who would be efficient public speakers. A book 
with a "punch" on every page. xi + 512 pp. $1.75. 

// en inspection a book is found undesirable and it ia returned within ten day*, the pur- 
chase price, lea? postage, will be refunded. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY. Springfield. Mass. 



A Well-Known Writer says: 

"Webster's New International 

is a marvel of completeness. It is an indispensable 
feature of the library of every man who either reads 
or writes. There is no matter of land, sea or sky that 
does not come within its purview and every 'topic is 
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400,000 Vocabulary Terms. New Gazetteer 
12,000 Biographical Entries. 2700 Pages. 
Over 6000 Illustrations. Colored Plates 

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WRITE for specimen pages. 

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The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 



A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII February, 1916 Number 2 

EDWIN MARKHAM'S POETIC METHOD— Henry M. Bland . 51 

BLENDS IN FICTION— Hapsburg Liebe 53 

CHARLTON ANDREWS— PLAYWRIGHT, AUTHOR, CRITIC AND 

TEACHER— THE EDITOR 55 

WRITING FOR THE AGRICULTURAL PRESS— Frank G. Davis . 59 
WHY EDITORS DEMAND TYPEWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT— 

Arthur T. Vance, Editor, Pictorial Review .... 60 

LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS— XIV— J. Berg Esenwein . . 61 

IN QUEST OF COPY— Arthur W. Beer 63 

MARION CRAWFORD ON "CHARACTER ANALYSIS" ... . 64 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— SONG MARKETS— E. M. Wickes . 65 

THINKS AND THINGS— DEPARTMENT— Arthur Leeds . . 69 
CLIPPINGS AND COMMENTS— Maidee B. Renshaw and Anne 

Scannell O'Neill 73 

CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT 78 

EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 80 

THE WORD PAGE— DEPARTMENT 82 

THE BULLETIN BOARD— DEPARTMENT 84 

WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT . . . . . 85 

EDITORIAL 88 

H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT 91 

THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST— DEPARTMENT .... 92 

ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES— DEPARTMENT 9 

Published monthly by Thb Home Cobrespondencb School, Myrick Building, Springfield, Masa. 

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Vol. vii February, 1916 Number 2 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 

Edwin Markham's Poetic Method 

By Henry Meade Bland 

My attention was especially attracted to Mr. Markham's 
practice in writing poetry by the care with which I saw him scru- 
tinize " Greece Re-arisen/' his recent sonnet, the first printed copy 
of which he had received. He seemed to sit in judgment upon every 
letter and mark. He tested every word to see if it could be bettered. 
He runed every line to be sure of correct rhythm. He conned every 
thought, and measured its emotional impression. Here was a bit 
of his art — art he intensely desired to live through centuries, and 
he would use every effort to impregnate it with his soul : 

GREECE RE-ARISEN 

Greece is not dead, however it may seem! 

For on our golden shores she still survives; 

Here is the violet sea, the murmuring hives 
Of green Hymettus, the Parnassian stream, 
And here the whispering Groves of Academe; 

Here is Olympus, here the Delphian shrine 

Where Lord Apollo pours his lyric wine 
And builds in man the glory of a dream. 

And here within our dim Olympian glen 
The griefs of Hellas stir the world again — 

The crash of Agamemnon's mighty years, 
Medea's madness and Cassandra's cry, 

Orestes' vengeance and Electra's tears — 
Sorrows that are too beautiful to die. 

— Edwin Markham. 

After an hour he left the poem without making a change; and 
this is not to be wondered at, because, in original preparation, he 
had worked a week, thus using already every final test. 

Here was a sonnet finished, and read before a great concourse; 
printed in a metropolitan daily, and in a magazine; approved by 
critics of standing as worthy of Keats; and yet the writer was in- 



52 EDWIN MARKHAM'S POETIC METHOD 

defatigably at work again testing out line by line. He made it an 
unvarying rule, he afterwards told me, to do this. 

For Edwin Markham the first step in writing a poem is the dis- 
covery of a burning thought. The second is the beginning of the 
expression in a majestic or beautiful first line; and the first requisite 
of this line is that it shall have singing qualities, "the lyric leap," 
which, it must be noted, is one of Mr. Markham's most striking 
powers. It is true, this power to select the musical word is inborn; 
yet he continually studies the poets. He holds himself up to his 
fine qualities by constantly refreshing his mind with the great touch- 
stones of literature : those short lines from the bards — fines that have 
stood the test of ages — which Tennyson says are 

"Jewels, five words long, 
That on the stretched forefinger of all time, 
Sparkle forever." 

And here is the first lesson out of the Markham method. The 
humblest singer can begin to build in himself "the music and the 
dream" by nursing the great standards of poetic expression. Mark- 
ham says there are not more than a thousand of these immortal 
touch-stones, even if all literatures are drawn upon. The problem 
is to find and absorb. 

The second point to observe in "The Method" is that the poet 
has a verse-form all his own into which he most easily and naturally 
drops. While he is a close student of all forms and can give an 
exquisite turn to an ode or a sonnet, as in the "Lyric of the Dawn," 
or the "Wharf of Dreams;" and while he is at home in the splendid 
blank verse of the "Hoe-Man," some of his most exquisite touches 
come in the four-accented rhymed couplet, as in "The Shoes of 
Happiness;" or in a double alternate-rhymed quatrain of four and 
three accents, as in "Virgila;" and it is into this he most naturally 
falls in moments of intense inspiration. It is as if he had trained 
himself to the four accent line as his own special mode of expression. 
This line is not by any means the conventional mechanical verse of 
the "Lady of the Lake;" but it is varied by certain esthetic laws 
which have a real Markhamish flavor. 

If this line were definitely described we should say it is a mixture 
of iambs and ansepests and ending sometimes in amphibrach, thus: 

"And the world had been but a foam-soft feather." 

Again he often breaks the exact march of the iambic with an 
extra syllable, as in "The rift of dawn, the reddening of the rose," 
from the "Man with the Hoe." The "en" in reddening might have 
been elided, but leaving it in makes, as the poet explains, "a pleas- 
ing ripple in the line." 

A third and vital point in Markham versification is perfection 
of rhyme. A fine, naturally musical ear he supplements with an 
exhaustive study of rhyme words — a study that is never-ending. 
Hence, in his work one often finds rhymes scarcely heard of, as in the 
second and fourth lines of the following: 



BLENDS IN FICTION 53 

"There is never a shadow that mars; 
Nor a place in the heart where remorse is, 
When we drink the bright wind in his glittering cars, 
Whirled on by his wonderful horses." 

Nor is any corner of English verse too humble for him to look 
into for new suggestions, as his library in his Staten Island home, 
New York, no doubt one of the finest libraries in America, will 
show. He literally digs into the verse-makers of all classes. 

And lastly it is fundamental to the Markham method that the 
poet seeks to express in his verse the hidden beauty both of nature 
and of the varying phases of humanity. 

Hence the necessity of broad, careful and deep study upon 
and communion with world-aspects, to the end that thought may 
continue to be new, vigorous, and interesting. Dead tragedy is to 
be avoided. The sorrows we deal with must be "too beautiful to 
die." We must try to body forth the triumphant note. 

Happy is the poet who strikes the new vein. The character 
created in the "Hoe-Man" still continues to crop out in new phases 
in Markham's work, as in his unpublished "The Martyrs of the 
Commune," and in the "Rock-Breaker," and this personage still 
lends Titanic strength to his thought. He is still at war with all 
evil and especially the evil of human oppression: The man, 

"Bowed with the weight of centuries," 

is always before him. Thus he interprets the sculptor Rodin's " Le 
Penseur" as the "Hoe-Man" beginning to think. 

This short sketch, which is intended merely to be suggestive, 
may appropriately be closed with the poet's definition of poetry: 
"It is the imaginative expression of the unfamiliar beauty of the 
world — the beauty which is the smile on the face of truth. Poetry 
is the cry of the heart in the presence of the wonder of life." One 
of the poet's favorite ideas of the poetic is from Poe: "The origin 
off poetry lies in a thirst for a wilder beauty than earth supplies." 



Blends in Fiction 

By Hapsburg Liebe 

A story is a great deal like a painted picture ! Neither is very 
interesting if done all in one color — unless it comes from a master, a 
Jack London or a Montgomery Flagg, and then it may be too fine to 
dilute. But there are not many Jack Londons and Montgomery 
Flaggs. The story from the pen of the average writer suffers heavily 
when it has no mellowing tint. Do you know what it is that best 
relieves the story of pathos, the cold-blooded business story, the melo- 
dramatic story, the adventure story — in fact, almost any story? 
Humor. That's what : Humor. One funny character, anyway. Not 
you, you understand, but the character himself must be funny. 0. 
Henry could be funny himself; but you and I — we are not O. Henrys. 



54 BLENDS IN FICTION 

The usual trouble with funny characters is that they are not funny 
enough in an original way; too many of them are merely " smart 
alecs, " which the reader won't receive. 

The humorous character should be characterized as nicely as 
your heroine, your hero, or your villain. Give him one strong trait, 
and play on that continually without overdoing it. A mere trick of 
manner isn't enough. A red head, or crossed eyes are not enough. 
Don't make him a type; make him a man apart from all other men. 
You might give him a twisted belief, a crude philosophy all his own; 
make him desperately firm in his convictions, and his sincerity will 
carry him through. 

Take " Tingerless' Fraser" out of "The Silver Horde,' ' and you'd 
miss him! He's a bad man. He's a crook, with little principle. But 
he's funny; he's originally and delightfully funny. He mellows and 
relieves. How many books one might name that would be immeasur- 
ably less interesting without their " 'Fingerless' Frasers"! 

And the "Tingerless' Fraser" serves still another purpose; he 
forms a method of contrast. Do you think that Boyd Emerson would 
be half as strongly drawn, half as splendid a man, if the crook were not 
present everywhere to show him up? You wouldn't know white was 
white, if you never saw black. 

Where will you get your funny character? Make him? Don't do 
it. The chances are that he'll be either wooden or a "smart alec." 
Get him from life. Life teems with " 'Fingerless' Frasers." There 
are millions of these odd characters. I'll tell you how I got one. A 
mountaineer living near here changed his name to Jack Townsend and 
determined to be a writer. He couldn't spell any ten words of any 
language correctly — but he determined to be a writer ! That amused 
and interested me. I tried to discourage the idea, even after he had 
sold enough wild hides to buy a ten-dollar typewriting machine. He 
said to me this, good-humoredly : "Damn your soul, if you can make 
money a writin' stories, I know I can!" 

I went after him right then. I learned his twisted philosophies of 
life. I learned that he hated preachers and frogs with a queer hate. 
I noted that his drooping mustache muffled his voice, and I noted 
that when he stopped in the laurel-lined trail he invariably set the 
butt of his rifle carefully between his toes. In the story I named him 
Sam Heck, and another character soon nicknamed him "By". Then 
I had "By Heck. " By Heck could make twenty-year-old yellow corn 
whisky in a day and a half. 

Humor blends easiest and best with pathos; hardest and worst 
with tragedy. Tragedy has its place in fiction; but if there's much of 
it, only a strong pen should handle it. Tragedy is to fiction what 
minor notes are to music; just enough has a wonderful and sympa- 
thetic charm, while too much is as doleful as the death-chant of a 
Moro. 



Most arts require long study and application. 

— Loed Chesterfield. 





]Mw them Better 



XXVII. Charlton Andrews, Play- 
wright, Author, Critic and Teacher 

By The Editor 

They have been quarreling so long over the birthplace of Homer 
that it seems wise to put it on record for all time that the subject 
of this truthful story was born in Connersville, Indiana. His parents' 
name was Andrews, and with an ear for euphony they named the 
prettiest baby on the block Charlton; it remained for his associates 
thirty years after to give him the middle names he has ever since 
deserved — Independent Thinker. 

You must not, however, picture the Johnson of this Boswell as be- 
ing in any respect like-mannered to the Great Cham of Literature, even 
if he has a gossiping biographer. Mr. Andrews does not wear his 
independent-thinking apparatus like a green umbrella and go about 
poking it in every fellow's eye; he is as gentle as an old shoe. The 
whole of it is, he knows what he thinks, explains clearly why he 
thinks it, and is right about ninety-seven per cent of the times he 
opens his mouth. I leave a small margin for safety. 

The conscienceless personal historians who, as shameless hire- 
lings, have written the preceding sketches in this series and grown 
rich thereby — actually rich — have not ventured to dwell on the 
physical appearance of their subjects. I have no such fear. Even if 
C. A. refuses to pay me a stiver for this veracious account, I do not 
hesitate to tell my readers that the plans and specifications on which 
he was built are Romanesque. His marble dome is thatched with 
plenty of dark hair, and his eyes — which twinkle properly, and, 
alas, sometimes improperly, behind glasses — are blue and sincere. 
The only quarrel I have with Andrews is that he has enfringed his 
well-cut chin — this is not a tonsorial reference — with a whiskerette 
in the very style his Boswell has long affected, thus indicating a 
shrewd desire to soften the rigors of the biographic pen, but as he 
has not yet succeeded in inducing his imperial to grow any other 
than black hairs, his infringement of patent rights shall be generously 
forgiven. 

Five-feet-ten is a proper height for one hundred fifty pounds 
of playwright, up-standing and elastic. Let all aspirants take 
notice. He won the intercollegiate record for breaking hearts in 
Indiana when he was an undergraduate at De Pauw University; 
and here, after writing for the college and local journals, taking an 



56 CHARLTON ANDREWS 

active part in dramatics, and winning all the other honors that were 
not nailed to the old college door, he was graduated at a dizzying 
height among a large class of world beaters. 

I scorn to ring in the old allusion to seeking new worlds to con- 
quer, but somehow I must get the youthful Andrews across the 
water, so "we now," as the old-time histriographer used to say, 
"find our hero in Paris." In the Capital of Europe he wrote letters 
on the French drama for many American newspapers, thus follow- 
ing preferences shown in college for the double calling of journalist 
and dramatic critic. He was fortunate in seeing all of that brilliant 
series of plays which glorified the French stage some twenty years 
ago, notably the inimitable Coquelin ainee in the first run of Cyrano 
de Bergerac, and the other great ones. This extended experience 
settled his foundations in sound dramatic thinking, and the results 
are constantly apparent in increasingly good work. 

After Mr. Andrews had turned Paris inside out, he began to 
suspect what America was missing and came home. Dramatic 
criticisms of insight and trenchant in expression from now on ap- 
peared in various metropolitan journals, and doubtless it was while 
serving this trying apprenticeship that C. A. became master of that 
condensed yet brilliant style which marks all his writings. 

Somewhere under this man's shirt front has always lurked the 
teacher; not the pedestal pedagogue, but the unassuming friend 
who is at once glad and able to take a pupil by the button hole and 

lead him, not shove him, along the you've often read the rest of 

this sentence. So it required only an election, seconded by our old 
friend Good Salary, to bring him to the principalship of an Indiana 
high school. He had hardly got settled in the town when, by being 
called to a chair in the State College of Washington, he earned the 
right to be named — but he looks black at you when you call him 
professor. 

Sometime before this Charlton Andrews had committed matri- 
mony. The partner of his plaudits and rejection slips is an alto- 
gether charming comrade for her many-sided husband, is his most 
judicious critic, and enters with enthusiasm into his work. Long 
may they wave! 

Mr. Andrews never succeeded in chasing the dramatic bee from 
his bonnet. In fact, his two hobbies are his pupils and the stage — 
he loves them both and has wooed the latter successfully. While 
head of the Department of English in the North Dakota State 
Normal, one of the largest institutions in the Northwest, our play- 
wright submitted a play manuscript in competition for the first 
MacDowell Fellowship in dramatic competition at Harvard and 
won over a field of several hundred also-rans. Though notice of his 
success came only a few days before the opening of the academic 
year, C. A. suddenly remembered that he had intended some day to 
annex a Harvard M.A., secured a leave of absence from his trustees, 
tossed back his hair, and set off to hunt the festive bean in its native 
lair. 



CHARLTON ANDREWS 57 

While the guest of John Harvard he wrote a masque, The In- 
terrupted Revels, which the MacDowell Club produced at its annual 
riot at the Plaza, New York. In the cast were Walter Hampden, 
Mabel Moore, Douglas J. Wood and other noted players. In the 
audience was Charlton Andrews. The New York critics printed 
capital commendations. Thanks, boys. 

State Line, a one-act farce, was also written during this period 
and produced by the famous Harvard Dramatic Club, both in 
Cambridge and in Boston. 

It was at Harvard, while doing special work in the technique of 
play construction, that an incident occurred which was both inter- 
esting and exasperating. Mr. Andrews wrote a play of dissociated 
personality which he called Polly. Being based on the medical and 
psychological reports of Drs. Hyslop, Sidis, Janet, Prince, and others, 
this play used as the protagonist (I learned this word from C. A. 
himself) the character of a young woman who was a sort of scientific 
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After months of work on the play and 
after it had been presented to various producers and received 
much approving notice, it was accepted and was about to be pro- 
duced. Suddenly appeared The Case of Becky — which knocked 
Polly into the traditional cocked hat! 

And now appears the best evidence that C. A. can take allo- 
pathic doses like a good sport. Although his manuscript had been 
for a time in the office of Mr. David Belasco, our author did not 
accuse any one of having plagiarized from Polly, but realized that 
the foundation idea of his play was common property. After gnash- 
ing his teeth in the secrecy of the third story back room, C. A. grinned 
several times to show that he still could, and set to work on a new 
play — which made a hit. There isn't a bittei streak in this man's 
heart. Of how many world-tested men can you write this honestfy? 

In due time C. A. earned his Master's degree in Arts at Harvard, 
and this he did without acquiring the accent — which shows much 
self-restraint. When I say further that he admits Dartmouth can 
play football and that he never casts aspersions upon the University 
of Pennsylvania, we need look no further for evidences of a broad 
mind. 

His Majesty the Fool, his next big dramatic work, had its premiere 
in the famous "Little Theatre" of Philadelphia during its brilliant 
1913-1914 season. The press notices before me are warm enough to 
delight an Esquimau. Everywhere this romantic drama was 
acclaimed, not only for the finely repressed acting of Edward E. 
Horton, Jr., as "Chicot" and for that of Helen Holmes as "Diane," 
but for the strong work of the playwright. 

The story of the play deals with the intrigue of the Gascon 
jester Chicot — made famous by Dumas the elder in La Dame de 
Monsoreau — who in real life played a considerable part in the under- 
ground politics of France during the troublous reign of King 
Henry III. Chicot foils a villainous conspiracy to dethrone Henry 
and to set up the latter's brother, the Duke of Anjou, as king. The 
jester also renders great service to Diane de Meridor, the young 



58 CHARLTON ANDREWS 

heroine out of Gascony, although she has failed to reciprocate his 
tender passion. After saving the life of her lover, the Count of 
Bussy, and making a widow of the girl who has been trapped into a 
false marriage, Chicot brings them together at the final curtain. 
There is much comedy mixed with the tense dramatic action through- 
out. 

Mr. Andrews was actuated in the writing of His Majesty the Fool 
by a desire to witness a return to the stage of the idealistic romantic 
drama which formerly held so large a place in the public esteem, but 
which has lately been crowded aside by excessive realism, often 
trivial and sometimes disgusting. He has not made Chicot the con- 
ventional King's fool, but "a character," as the Philadelphia Ledger 
said in its favorable notice of the Andrews play, "with many of the 
attributes of a crafty statesman." 

I am not concerned here with much besides C. A.'s work in and 
for the drama, but lovers of prose romance will remember his "A 
Parfit Gentil Knight" as a vigorous historical novel which helped 
to put Chicago on the map — it was published by McClurg. 

When Mr. Andrews returned to teaching he produced the second 
of his trio of really good books — "The Drama Today." It was 
published by the J. B. Lippincott Co. while I was serving as literary 
adviser, and won an instant success, not only popularly but as a 
text book in our larger American universities as well. It is a de- 
lightfully readable yet soundly critical survey of present tendencies 
in playdom and is illustrated throughout by apt references to present- 
day drama. His publishers requested a second book, but pressure 
of work prevented it, and when later a further volume was written, 
the present Boswell secured it for "The Writer's Library." 

The lure of New York next drew Charlton Andrews. For about 
a year his editorial work on the Tribune gave him fresh opportunities 
to study the drama as it is, but, newspaper work again proving not 
so attractive as his beloved teaching, Andrews became instructor 
in English in New York University, and lecturer in English in the 
Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn. These posts he still holds, and 
with all the pressure on his strength he still finds leisure to conduct 
a notable course in Play Writing for the Home Correspondence 
School. In doing this he finds plenty of play for his rare teaching 
gifts and friendly sympathies. 

Charlton Andrews has been a constant contributor to the 
periodical press. His papers on dramatic art which have appeared 
in The Theatre, The Dramatic Mirror, The Green Book, and other 
periodicals devoted to the drama, have been particularly notable. 

But, marked as have been his earlier successes, Mr. Andrews' 
greatest work is his recently published book, "The Technique of 
Play Writing." This volume of analysis and instruction furnishes 
blue print and specifications, as a dramatic critic has expressed it, 
for all who would write plays. It charts the whole subject of play 
construction and by definite degrees leads the reader — who of course 
must be a worker — step by step from theme selection, through theme 



WRITING FOR THE AGRICULTURAL PRESS 59 

development, plot expansion, character delineation, dialogue, and 
what must be shown and what omitted on the stage, to the com- 
plete writing, criticism, re-writing and marketing of the play. 

But a fuller expose* of the " innards'' of this book would be only- 
carrying coals to a well-known English port, for everybody nowa- 
days is writing a play, so everybody must sooner or later help to 
turn the beloved Andrews into that sad type of bloated bondholder, 
the plutocratic casher of royalty checks. 



Writing for the Agricultural Press 

By Frank G. Davis 

If a young writer strictly adheres to fiction he will often have 
to wait a long time, perhaps several years, before he has a single 
acceptance. This is likely to prove discouraging, and for this reason 
hundreds give up writing who might eventually meet with success. 
I believe a young writer makes a mistake by writing fiction all the time 
when it is unsalable. Because he expects to become a fiction writer 
is no reason why he should not branch out into other lines as well. 

Almost every beginner has better success at writing short articles 
than in any other field. There is always a broad market for " fillers' * 
as nearly every publication uses material of this kind. Of course, 
as in fiction, the needs of each publication differ. Though the price 
received for work of this kind varies according to your market and 
your material, the check received usually repays the writer for the 
time, thought and energy expended on its preparation. 

But aside from the financial return, this sort of work furnishes 
practice in composition and often leads to something better in the 
same general sort of writing, for after the experience gained at writing 
this short stuff one learns more about editorial requirements and can 
turn out long articles that are salable. 

To a writer who lives in a small town or the country there is 
always "something doing" in the way of material for agricultural 
journals. There is a large number of these publications and they 
must all have material from somewhere, so if the beginner has some- 
thing interesting to relate he can get a ready audience from publica- 
tions in this class. Though I have had but a short experience in 
writing I have found out a thing or two about the agricultural article. 

In the first place, I have learned that the experience article is 
the one that sells. Now and then you may succeed in getting another 
kind of article by the editorial desk, but it is seldom, and even then it 
must be especially interesting. But the experience article, if timely, 
is almost sure to find a market. The rejection slip from some publica- 
tions bears the statement that "the Editor wants experience articles, 
what you or your neighbor is doing." 



60 WHY EDITORS DEMAND TYPEWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT 

One thing required in the agricultural article is brevity. The 
average editor wants short, snappy articles. Of course if you have 
an interesting feature-article he is glad to get that also, but the cry 
is for articles of from four hundred to eight hundred words in length. 

The gathering of material for this kind of work requires minute 
observation on the part of the writer. He must be wide-awake to 
what is going on about him. He must get about over the neighbor- 
hood, and above all he must talk with the farmers. One can often 
get tips on some subject from these conversations that when used in 
articles will help sell them. It is a good idea to carry your notebook 
with you all the time, even if you do not expect to use it, as things 
are constantly turning up that can be used in some articles but which 
will be lost if not jotted down at the time. 

A good photograph will often sell an article. This does not 
mean that a photograph will sell poor work, but where other chances 
are equal it will swing the balance in your favor. 

Of course there are but comparatively few who make their living 
by writing these articles, yet every writer can add a goodly sum to 
his income if he keeps his eyes open to the news value of the things 
going on about him. 



Why Editors Demand Typewritten Manuscript 

By Arthur T. Vance, Editor Pictorial Review 

The average young writer doesn't seem to understand why 
editors demand typewritten manuscripts, and this applies not only 
to beginners, but to some of the old-timers who ought to know better. 

The objection from the editorial point of view to hand- written 
manuscripts is well taken. It is not only because handwriting is 
harder to read, but because the author doesn't give himself a fair 
chance. This may sound strange, but it is true, and can be explained 
on a mechanical basis. When you read a typewritten line, just as 
when you read a printed line, the eye does not stop to read it letter 
by letter, or even word by word. The skilled reader takes in the whole 
line, ofttimes two or three lines, at a glance. The reading is made 
easy, and the mind more readily grasps the effect or the impression 
the author is striving for. On the other hand, when you read hand- 
written manuscripts, you have to read every word separately and 
frequently have to spell out the words letter by letter. It is so 
laborious a task that the illusion is almost certain to be lost. It is 
just the same thing as when you studied Latin in school. Old Virgil 
wrote some fine stories — interesting, inspiring, thrilling — but when 
you had to translate a word at a time, it became a bore — a task — and 
you got so you hated the sight of the book. You didn't appreciate 
the story of it at all. 

I hope the young writers, and the old writers, will see my point. 
I would say off-hand, that a manuscript which is typewritten has 
five times the chances of being accepted and published that a hand- 
written one has. 



Letters to Young Authors 

FOURTEENTH LETTER 

Dear Friend of Many Years, 

If Carlyle had lived — and gibed — today he would have said that 
the population of the United States consists of some hundred mil- 
lions — mostly writers; therefore I refuse to be surprised by the 
announcement that you are about to "take your pen in hand." 
And since you feel within you some scores of stories clamoring to be 
let out, perhaps you can do no better than study the methods of at 
least one spinner of yarns whose story-fabrics you must approach 
in beauty and in fineness if you are at length to sit down in the front 
room of fame — which may the immortal gods grant you, my dear 
Jack! 

Study 0. Henry, who attained to the degree of Past Master of 
the Twist; indeed, I may say that he was the Past Grand Master of 
the whole fraternity in America. What is a Twist, say you? It 
is that turn in the course of story-telling which leads the listener to 
see unexpectedly a new aspect of the problem, a sudden obstacle in 
the way, an unsuspected significance in what has gone before, a 
surprising possibility in the situation, a vital element of change in 
character relations — in short, a twist in the strands that may mean 
anything and everything to the outcome of the story. 

Now "outcome" was evidently a big word in O. Henry's con- 
ception of story-planning, if not in his vocabulary, for no ingenious 
plot-twist is likely to occur — I do not say can occur — unless the 
weaver work backward from the outcome and thus plan for his final 
effect. While, as I have just inferred, not all good stories contain a 
twist, all good story tellers of today are good twisters, and 0. Henry 
put the unexpected, yet the entirely expectable, into most of his 
little fictions. So, at the risk of having you crack our prep-school 
joke and wag your finger at me with the words, "Tu docet — Thou 
tea chest!" — I am going to play the pedagogue and pluck apart 
"The Whirligig of Life," one of O. Henry's master stories, so that 
together we may see how he handled his delightful twists. 

The story opens with Justice of the Peace Benaja Widdup 
sitting in the door of his omce on the main street of the little " settle- 
ment.'' * "Up the road came a sound of creaking axles, and then a 
slow cloud of dust, and then a bull-cart bearing Ransie Bilbro and 
his wife. The car stopped at the justice's door, and the two climbed 
down. Ransie was a narrow six feet of sallow brown skin and yellow 
hair. The imperturbability of the mountains hung upon him like a 
suit of armor. The woman was calicoed, angled, snuff-brushed, and 
wear} r with unknown desires. Through it all gleamed a faint pro- 
test of cheated youth unconscious of its loss." The pair had come 
down from the Cumberland Mountains to get "a divo'ce." 



62 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

The justice, after listening to their mild-mannered recrimina- 
tions, which contrasted humorously with their epithets, decided 
that though "the law and the statutes air silent on the subject of 
divo'ce as fur as the jurisdiction of this co't air concerned, accordin' 
to equity and the constitution and the golden rule, it's a bad barg'in 
that can't run both ways" so the divorce would be granted. 

Ransie Bilbro had "sold a b'arskin and two foxes fur a five- 
dollow note," and announced that this was all the money they had, 
whereupon the justice said promptly, " 'The regular price of a 
divo'ce in this co't air five dollars.' He stuffed the bill into the 
pocket of his homespun vest with a deceptive air of indifference." 

The decree, a marvel of frank construction, recited that Ransie 
and Ariela "promises that hereinafter they will neither love, honor, 
nor obey each other, neither for better nor worse," under solemn 
adjurations both legal and moral. The justice was about to hand 
one copy of the paper to Ransie when Ariela bobbed up with twist 
number one, for O. Henry was not always satisfied with a single 
turn but often made the twist duplicate, triplicate, and even multi- 
plicate, and all without offending argus-eyed Probability. The 
divorced wife suddenly demanded her "rights" before her former 
partner should get his "paper" — she must have "ali-money." Five 
dollars was all she asked for — she needed "a pa'r of shoes and some 
snuff and things besides" to comfort her on her way up Hogback 
Mountain, where lived her brother Ed. 

Ransie was nonplussed at the demand for a second five, his last 
dollar having gone to pay for the divorce, but he reckoned he "mout 
be able to rake or scrape it up somewhars" by tomorrow morning. 
The justice allowed the time, adjourned the case till then, and the 
only-partially separated couple left together to spend the night at 
Uncle Ziah's! 

After having remained at his little office to read until moon-up, 
the justice at length started home — whereupon appears the first 
turn of the second twist, inextricably interwoven with the last thread 
of the first twist. "The dark figure of a man stepped from the 
laurels and pointed a rifle at his breast." With few words the masked 
highwayman forced the justice to curl the lone five-dollar bill he had 
and stick it into the barrel of the gun. 

"The next day came the little red bull, drawing the cart to the 
office door." As Ransie Bilbro handed to his wife a five-dollar bill, 
Justice Benaja Widdup "sharply viewed it. It seemed to curl up as 
though it had been rolled and inserted into the end of a gun barrel." 
But he said nothing, though he "watched the money disappear with 
mounful eyes behind his spectacles." 

Now that the parting of the ways lay before them, Ariela felt 
qualms. She began to give Ransie directions as to where to find the 
food in their cabin. Other timid suggestions followed, until soon 
they began to see that they were not far apart in spirit after all, and 
suddenly Ransie "reached out a big hand and enclosed Ariela's 
thin brown one. Her soul peeped out once through her impassive 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 63 

face, hallowing it." They would not accept the divorce, after all, 
but would go back together to the little cabin in the Cumberlands ! 
Another twist — not altogether unexpected. 

But 0. Henry has a final twist for us, just when the course of 
the story seems to have reached its straight-away, with the track 
clear to the wire. Justice Widdup felt that he must interpose. 
"In the name of the State of Tennessee," he said, "I forbid you- 
all to be a defyin' of its laws and statutes." The couple are divorced 
but may be re-married — for the same old magical five-dollar bill! 

And when the re-uniting words had been said by the diplomatic 
justice, and the curled-up bill once more lay safely in the pocket 
of the homespun vest, "The little red bull turned once more, and 
they set out, hand-clasped, for the mountains." 

What is that saying, Jack, about the course of something-or- 
other that never did run smooth? Was it love — or just a love story 
— that the maker of sayings was talking about? Perhaps a twist or 
two is needed in both to add to the savor. Perhaps even a number 
of twists. I declare, there seems to be no rule. 

Your sincere friend, 

Kakl von Kkaft. 



In Quest of Copy 

Since Sue first got this writing craze 

Her folks have spent most strenuous days, 

For Sue has the most artful ways 

Of getting what she sweetly says 

Is material. 

With pencil sheathed within her hair, 

She takes her note book everywhere; 
Ill-natured gibes she does not fear, 
But scours the country, far and near, 
For material. 

Now when dear Sue I go to see, 

She listens most attentively 

To my warm words; but, here's the key: 

'Tis simply that she sees in me 

Material. 

When the last trump o'er earth shall break, 
No doubt have I that Sue will wake 
And copious notes begin to take: 
A front-page story it will make — 
Material ! 

Arthur W. Beer. 



Marion Crawford on "Character 
Analysis" 

Very young men are nowadays apt to imagine complications 
of character where they do not exist, often overlooking them alto- 
gether where they play a real part. The passion for analysis dis- 
covers what it takes for new simple elements in humanity's motives, 
and often ends by feeding on itself in the effort to decompose what 
is not composite. The greatest analyzers are perhaps the young and 
the old, who, being respectively before and behind the times, are not 
so intimate with them as those who are actually making history, 
political or social, ethical or scandalous, dramatic or comic. 

It is very much the custom among those who write fiction in 
the English language to efface their own individuality behind the 
majestic but rather meaningless plural, "we," or to let the characters 
created express the author's view of mankind. The great French 
novelists are more frank, for they boldly say "I," and have the cour- 
age of their opinions. Their merit is the greater, since those opinions 
seem to be rarely complimentary to the human race in general, or 
to their readers in particular. Without introducing any comparison 
between the fiction of the two languages, it may be said that the 
tendency of the method is identical in both cases and is the conse- 
quence of an extreme preference for analysis, to the detriment of the 
romantic and very often of the dramatic element in the modern novel. 
The result may or may not be a volume of modern social history for 
the instruction of the present and the future generations. If it is not, 
it loses one of the chief merits which it claims; if it is, then we must 
admit the rather strange deduction, that the political history of our 
times has absorbed into itself all the romance and the tragedy at the 
disposal of destiny, leaving next to none at all in the private lives of 
the actors and their numerous relations. 

Whatever the truth may be, it is certain that this love of minute 
dissection is exercising an enormous influence in our time; and as 
no one will pretend that a majority of the young persons in society 
who analyze the motives of their contemporaries and elders are suc- 
cessful moral anatomists, we are forced to the conclusion that they 
are frequently indebted to their imaginations for the results they 
obtain and not seldom for the material upon which they work. A 
real Chemistry may some day grow out of the failures of this fanciful 
Alchemy, but the present generation will hardly live to discover the 
philosopher's stone, though the search for it yield gold, indirectly, 
by the writing of many novels. If fiction is to be counted among the 
arts at all, it is not yet time to forget the saying of a very great man : 
"It is the mission of all art to create and foster agreeable illusions." 

— From "Don Orsino." 



Help for Song Writers 

Song Markets 

By E. M. Wickes 

In another part of this magazine there is a department, and a 
very good one, called "Thinks and Things." If the underlying 
philosophy of the caption were assimilated and digested by the 
"leaners" in the writing game, the latter would have less cause for 
complaint. A " leaner" is one who lacks real backbone, self-confi- 
dence, and ingenuity, and is always looking for another to smooth for 
him the pathway leading to success. He is too tired or too timid to 
strike out for himself, expects all assistance gratis, and still believes 
that he is qualified to survive among the fittest. The "leaner" is 
found in all walks of life, and to a bothersome extent in the writing 
craft. 

A man or a woman willing to think and act, eventually comes into 
possession of things. The "leaner" desires to obtain the things with- 
out considering the thinks, and he usually travels backwards from 
things to thinks, makes the painful discovery that one cannot do much 
without doing some real thinking, and then begins at the proper place, 
provided he has a little gray matter and logic somewhere in his head. 
Very often when he sees others who started at the same time as he 
did leaving him far in the rear, he quits "cold" and enlists in the 
"sour grapes" army. 

The "leaner" dashes off a lyric in the heat of inspiration, or that 
of a furnished room, and then pesters his friends to find a market for 
it, urging them to exercise for his sole benefit whatever little prestige 
they may have. 

A short time ago a "leaner" entered a music publisher's office 
where two real writers were racking their brains to find markets for 
some of their own work. He had only a speaking acquaintance with 
the writers, nevertheless he approached them as if he had known them 
for years. " I have a peach of a lyric here, " he said, tapping his coat 
just above his heart. "Do you know where I can get rid of it? " 

The two writers gazed at him for several seconds, then one of 
them stretched out his foot and pushed a waste paper basket in front 
of the "leaner" and nodded to it. The "leaner" colored crimson, 
turned and beat a hasty retreat. 

Ten years ago if a new writer were unable to induce a publisher 
in New York or Chicago to take his work he felt that it was useless to 
try elsewhere. This condition resulted from the new-comer's lack of 
logical thinking. Of late, however, a new element has sprung up — men 
who do not concede that New York and Chicago represent the entire 
country, and to verify this one has but to examine the song column of 
The Billboard. The announcements indicate that new publishers are 
springing up all over the country, and many of them have a monopoly 
on local trade by co-operating with local dealers. 



66 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

Sometimes writers who have been unable to place their work 
with the big publishers print and market their own songs and inci- 
dently open a market for another unknown. After they have issued 
one or two numbers and have made connections with local dealers, 
they discover that it is just as easy to do business with six as with two 
songs. Another chap with no money, but a keen eye, who has been 
watching them, comes along and offers his work, and if it should 
promise a profit he is very likely to receive some offer. 

Song writing is a commercial business. There are no niches 
waiting in the hall of fame for the man capable of turning out one or 
more hits. The public is willing to pay you for your work, and it is 
just as willing and ready to forget you as soon as you are through. 
The most important thing to do is to get a start — some way, any way, 
except that of allowing some trickster to delude you into paying him 
money to give you a false start. Opportunities can be made by those 
capable of thinking and planning. Success is a synonym for deter- 
mination — plus some ability. 

The average man cannot afford to publish his own book, story, 
photoplay, or stage his drama, as the expense of production is too 
large and the possible market too small; but by using common sense 
he can print a song and sell it at a profit. Hundreds are doing it every 
day. One man in Brooklyn who owns a printing shop composes, 
publishes, and sells his work to the jobbers and stores. He earns more 
from his work than some of the writers under contract. He is unknown 
to song writers and never has written a " hit. " 

Another man living in Ohio who tired of receiving rejection slips 
from publishers, printed three of his oft-returned songs and then 
started out to dispose of them at fairs and carnivals. From fair to 
fair he went, renting a booth in each, and offered two of his own songs 
and one popular hit for a quarter. At the expiration of two months 
he had cleared up six hundred dollars. For a month after the close of 
the fair season he received orders from practically all the towns he 
has visited, as well as from some he had not. John Williams, for 
instance, purchased three songs for his little girl; his neighbor who 
had not been to the fair saw the music and was anxious to secure three 
for his daughter, hence the new orders. 

Now had this energetic fellow sat down and hurled pretty names 
at the publishers, he would still have his manuscripts. By devising 
and making a market he earned more in two months than he had 
been accustomed to make in a year at ten dollars a week. He began 
with thinks and wound up by gathering in some of the things. 

A splendid illustration of what a sagacious and determined person 
can accomplish may be drawn from the struggles of an aspiring lyrist 
who found the New York publishers cold and indifferent, as Laura 
Jean Libby would say. After having sent his manuscripts on the 
rounds he sat down and made a careful analysis of his immediate 
assets. The only possibility that loomed up on his uninviting horizon 
was an eighteen year old cousin. She was pretty, and playing in a 
stock company in the next town. To the " leaner" she would have 
represented a cipher. Now this pretty cousin had a very wealthy 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 67 

young man among her many admirers. The scheming young author 
reasoned that if he could interest his cousin in his songs, either he or 
she might eventually induce the rich swain to publish them. But the 
town was no place to publish songs, not to his way of thinking. He 
would have to shift the scene to New York, which necessitated a 
shift for the leading lady. The lyrist was confident that the leading 
man would naturally follow. 

The author finally interested his cousin in his songs, then talked 
her into going to New York for engagements. He followed and the 
Romeo trailed behind. The cousin became enthusiastic about the 
song business and in the end persuaded the rich young man to go into 
the publishing business. The cousin returned to stage work after 
having promised to marry the rich young man. She sang the songs 
written by her cousin and published by her fiance\ Before many 
months had passed the entire country was singing one of the songs 
and the trio was making money. 

Scores of instances could be cited where men succeeded by using 
their brains and making opportunities where none appeared to exist. 
The trouble with the majority is that they cannot see an opportunity 
unless they stumble over it, and even then some do not recognize it, 
unless it is labelled in black-faced type. 

The year that has just gone into the discard was not a very 
profitable one for the popular-music business. The war was chiefly 
responsible for the falling off of sales. The public thought that a 
money stringency was due and tightened up on the purse strings. 
Publishers are one of the first to feel the effects of business depression, 
for as soon as the public senses hard times ahead it begins to curtail 
the purchase of luxuries, and popular music is looked upon as a 
luxury. When times are prosperous the masses buy to the limit; 
when hard times approach they limit the buying. 

The temporary business depression forced the publishers to play 
a close game, and none cared to take chances with newcomers. The 
jobbers, as well as the syndicates, ordered just enough to cover imme- 
diate needs, refusing to stock their shelves, with the idea of forcing 
the surplus over the counters, as is the custom in good times. A 
number of publishers were compelled to close up, while some of their 
rivals spent sleepless nights devising ways and means to keep the 
sheriff from closing the doors for them. 

However, the lean year has vanished with all its troubles, and the 
present one promises to make all publishers happy and rich. Pat 
Howley, who always kept an open house, has started in again on a 
large scale. He intends to deal with well-known writers, but he will 
always have time to examine the work of new writers. He does not 
believe in tying up with any one. His new address is 146 West 45th 
Street, New York City, and if you have a real song he will be only too 
pleased to see it. 

One correspondent writes in to ask where he can obtain a copy 
of a magazine that carries a list of reliable publishers. No doubt 
hundreds of others would appreciate the same information. 

The New York Clipper and The Billboard carry a large number of 



68 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

publishers' advertisements from which one can obtain names and 
addresses. Then there is Jacob's Orchestra Monthly, published in 
Boston. This is a good medium for publishers who make a practice of 
putting out orchestrations, and a house that does this has to have 
some sort of bank account. Jacob's Orchestra Monthly also contains 
some very valuable information dealing with the technique of music 
construction, and has a "Help Wanted" column that might appeal 
to budding composers. 

In a recent number the following advertisements appeared: 

Wanted — Musicians of all kinds; can place at once a barber 
who is a good clarinetist. 

On 'the surface the advertisement looks like a joke abstracted 
from a monologue. Another one reads : 

Wanted — A foreman for an auto shop — one who takes up music 
as a side line. 

The advertisements printed above are jokes for those to whom 
they do not appeal; but to some one they hold out an opportunity. 
For the man who hails from Missouri here is proof: 

Several years ago a young man living in a small town, who 
longed to become a popular composer, read the following in a news- 
paper : 

Wanted — A good waiter who can fake piano. 

He could "fake" a piano just as easily as he could break one with 
his pounding. He knew less about waiting than he did about playing, 
but he possessed nerve and determination, and he reasoned out that if 
he could get in touch with a place where a pianist was needed he would 
eventually come in contact with singers, then with publishers. He 
applied for the position, and as no one else put in an appearance, he 
got it. Later he made the acquaintance of a singer who ached to be a 
lyric writer. The pair collaborated on some songs and six months 
after their first meeting they found an appreciative publisher. Today 
both are staff writers and enjoying the real things of life. He who 
shuns the cup with thinks, will find no things in what he drinks. 



PEPIGRAMS ON SUCCESS 

The secret of success has been fairly well kept, considering how 
many people are anxious to tell about it! — Puck. 

Success does not depend so much on external help as on self- 
reliance. — Abraham Lincoln. 

Self-distrust is the cause of most of our failures. In the assurance 
of strength they are the weakest, however strong, who have no faith 
in themselves or their powers. — Borll. 




Mr. Arthur Leeds has resigned his position as Editor of Scripts for Thomas A. Edison, Inc., 
it being his desire to return to freelance writing. Mr. Leeds has the utmost confidence in the 
possibilities offered in the field of the photoplay. At the same time, he is interested in both 
fictional work and legitimate play building, and as an active member of the Ed-Au Club, the 
Playwrights, the Society of American Dramatists and Composers, and kindred organizations, we 
are glad to announce that he will continue to write for our readers these interesting and informa- 
tive paragraphs on what is taking place in moving picture, publishing and dramatic circles. — 
Editor. 

By Arthur Leeds 

It is gratifying to see the Motion Picture News come out with a 
protest against the ravings of sundry press agents. Just as it is true, 
and generally admitted, that you can no longer throw a poor story on 
the screen and make the picture-going public believe it is a good one, 
it is true that the day is past for trying to thrust down the throats of 
exhibitor and patron a wild press agent's yarns, whether they be of 
some unusually lavish expenditure on the part of the director while 
putting on the picture, or of stupendous and often impossible sums 
paid to ex-theatrical " stars" upon coming into the pictures. It is 
about time that some of these press agents realized that the space 
granted them by the different trade papers could be used to far 
better advantage than by telling exhibitors and patrons things which 
they do not believe and in which they are not, in most cases, even 
interested. Speaking as one who has had experience in the exhibiting 
end of the game, I can see nothing interesting in the fact that the 
celebrated legitimate stage star, Mr. Iva Smallpart, is to receive a 
salary of five thousand dollars a week for three months' work with the 
Croesus Film Company. One reads these high-flown announcements 
in the trade papers, and a few weeks or months later, on the street or 
in the club, one hears the work of that very high-salaried stage star 
in the "specially written screen masterpiece" slowly picked to pieces 
— and not by rivals or idle-tongued "knockers," either, but by men 
and women who are capable critics and regular photoplay fans, and 
who are simply telling the truth about "another" commonplace 
picture which "features" yet "another" noted artist of the legitimate 
stage who is not, in the drama of the screen, worth what he is being 
paid — judged by the results on the screen. 

With regard to these sky-rocket salaries, as the News remarks, 
" True or not, let's keep quiet about them. . . As things stand at pre- 
sent, an ordinary youth with a pleasant countenance, a full set of teeth, 
two legs — in short, the physique which most parents give us, and an ex- 
tra change of clothes — can suddenly acquire through tremendous 
newspaper and screen advertising, and through disastrous competition 
between producers, a salary greater than that of the President of the 
United States." 



70 THINKS AND THINGS 

These remarks might seem out of place in a department of this kind 
were it not for the fact, as those writers who are close to the heart of 
the producing game have long recognized, that the sooner manufac- 
turers pay less attention to the unwarrantably high-priced star and 
the popular novel, the picture-right prices for which are out of all 
proportion to the value of the story in photoplay form, the sooner 
they will commence to pay more attention to the thing which is of real 
importance : these stories written especially for the screen, by trained 
photo-dramatists, that will hold the attention of the audiences; and 
the matter of a real, worthy-of-the-effort salary for the staff writers 
who, if the famous novel or stage play is a success on the screen, are 
largely responsible by reason of their painstaking and capable work 
in making the adaptation. As the News sums the matter up: "The 
exhibitor (and patron) doesn't want to know, he doesn't care 'two 
whoops ' about, the salaries. He wants pictures made from stories so 
good and true, and pictures so ably directed, that the star and every- 
body else in them will act to the limit of their ability — as well as and 
better than they have ever acted on the speaking stage. " 

A bill has been introduced into Congress by Senator Boies Pen- 
rose, of Pennsylvania, contemplating an amendment of the copyright 
laws so as to include scenarios. The picture News has a readable 
editorial on the subject, but I would advise writers to get the Moving 
Picture World of January 15 and read the facts in connection with the 
bill as printed on page 431. This is a matter of vital importance to 
every photoplaywright, and worthy of serious consideration. It will 
be remembered that Mr. William Lord Wright, of the Dramatic 
Mirror, was one of the very first to try to bring about scenario copy- 
right, through his representative from Ohio. The matter has hung 
fire for a long time, and I suppose that every script writer and writer 
on the photoplay has "done his bit" to try to hasten the day when 
photoplay scripts shall enjoy the same protection that is given to all 
other literary forms. Doubtless most writers who know that this bill 
is being introduced are praying that it will go through ; personally, I 
am as strong for script copyright as ever; yet the fact that there are 
undoubtedly two sides to every question was brought home to me 
again just the other evening in connection with this very matter. I 
had the pleasure of giving a little shop-talk on the photoplay before 
several of the members of the Society of American Dramatists, and 
presently the question of protection for the writer of scripts came up. 

Mr. Augustus Thomas asked what I thought of Senator Penrose's 
bill. I replied that it was a measure for which many of us had long 
been striving. " But, " said Mr. Thomas, "don't you see that, if such a 
bill is put through, there is at least the possibility of its having a 
tendency to paralyze creative effort on the part of really legitimate 
literary craftsmen, since the unknown and utterly impossible writer 
will be given exactly the same protection, in return for his copyright 
fee, as the writer who makes his living, and really belongs, in the field 
of literature?" Continuing, Mr. Thomas pointed out that the most 
illiterate and hopeless aspirant for photoplay writing honors might be 
able, backed up by his copyright of an otherwise quite impossible 



THINKS AND THINGS 71 

script, to tie up any amount of theme variations, plot situations and 
ideas, so that a writer or dramatist of acknowledged ability and 
reputation might find himself in the position of having to throw aside 
an extremely good single situation, or a plot development which he 
had believed to be absolutely original with him, because some 
unknown would-be author had happened — and we all know how 
easily such a thing might happen — to " beat him to " in imagining that 
one particular situation or plot development, even though the " would- 
be's" script was, otherwise, quite worthless and impossible. This at 
least is true; and there is also the possibility of any successful writer's 
being compelled to face an infringement of copyright charge brought 
by some ex-chamber maid or truck driver who has suddenly decided 
to become an author. After all, everyone, from the boot-black to the 
college professor, is given to imagination; the humblest man or 
woman may conceive a situation which, imparted to a skilled drama- 
tist or story writer, might prove the nucleus of one of the world's 
greatest stories or plays, when properly worked out and elaborated 
upon by the trained mind. The possibility we will all face, should this 
bill go through, will not be that of being given the opportunity to buy 
from the "creator" of the situation or plot idea that which he has 
created through his imagination; we shall face, on the other hand, 
the constant possibility, even probability, of working up an idea which 
we believe to be original, only to be suddenly confronted with the 
charge of plagiarism by someone who, having also thought of the same 
thing, has embodied it in a "script" so utterly worthless on account 
of its illiteracy and lack of logical sequence in the working out that it 
is absolutely valueless to the writer as a salable piece of property, 
thus leaving the author very much in the position of a literary dog in 
the manger, unable to make use of the idea for his own profit and yet 
snarling legally at the capable author who would also make use of it. 

Without repeating in full the bromide about there being just so 
many really original plots, and all others being variations of them, we 
know that the magazines and moving pictures would have died out 
long ago had it not been for the way in which "situations" have been 
used over and over again, in slightly varied forms. As an example, 
take the idea of entombing a man while alive, a "sure fire" situation, 
to use a theatrical slang term, that has been utilized by Poe, Conan 
Doyle, Balzac and Edith Wharton — and probably by a few others! 
Suppose the particular one of this quartette of famous authors who 
first made use of this situation had been able to copyright and, in 
that way, "tie up" the situation in question; literature would have 
been denied three other very excellent stories. But the fresh twist 
that each of the three others gave to the original "living tomb" idea 
was directly responsible for four excellent and entertaining narratives 
being given to the world. In the field of the photoplay, here is another 
example. Vitagraph, about four years ago, released a picture called 
"The Light That Failed," which many people thought was to be 
an adaptation of Kipling's well-known novel. It turned out, however, 
to be the story of a man, the leader of the strikers in a certain big city 
lighting plant, who cuts the wires, thus throwing the entire city into 



72 THINKS AND THINGS 

darkness, just as a surgeon, without the father being aware of the 
fact, is in the act of operating on his injured child, as a result of which 
the child dies, and the terrible consequence of taking the law into his 
own hands is brought home to the father. Incidentally, at the time 
Vitagraph made this picture, there was, if I remember rightly, some 
slight stir about it, as it was claimed that it was a plagiarism of a 
story called " Sabotage," previously published in Smart Set. There 
was also another magazine story, the title of which I cannot recall, 
which closely followed the general outline of both the Vitagraph pic- 
ture and the Smart Set story. And now (Lubin, released January 10) 
we have "The City of Failing Light, " by Anthony P. Kelly, in which 
the same situation of the cut wires and the sick child is used, with the 
capital-against-labor idea prominent throughout the story. Kelly 
has given his scenario not one, but several, new twists, and to me it 
seems fully entitled to be called an original story — provided you are 
willing to acknowledge the truth of the saying that "every new story 
is simply an old story with a new twist. " Now, for all I know, Kelly's 
scenario was entirely born of his own brain, but whether that was so or 
whether he got the idea for his main situation from one of these other 
three stories, the point is that, under the copyright law which they are 
attempting to put through, he would be liable to a heavy fine, when 
any impartial observer would surely be willing to admit that, although 
two or several wrongs do not make a right, if anything wrong was 
done Kelly has surely committed no greater breach of literary ethics 
than did three of the famous literary lights who "got away" with the 
entombed alive situation. Be that as it may, so far as scenario copy- 
right is concerned, as Epes Winthrop Sargent once said about screen 
credit, "it works both ways — for or against you, according to the cir- 
cumstances." The question at present is, will Senator Penrose's 
copyright bill go through? 



Maxims 

Our greatest glory consists, not in never falling, but in rising 
every time we fall. — Oliver Goldsmith. 

Those who take the honors and emoluments of mechanical 
crafts, of commerce and of professional life, are rather distinguished 
for a sound judgment and a close application than for a brilliant 
genius. — Henry Ward Beecher. 

Literature is the Thought of thinking souls. — Thomas Carlyle. 

Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learn- 
ing is perilous.— CHINESE MAXIM'S 

Style is the dress of thoughts. — Lord Chesterfield. 



Clippings and Comments 

CURRENT MAGAZINE ARTICLES OF INTEREST 
TO WRITERS 

By Maidee Bennett Renshaw 

''Strategy and Tactics in the Drama," by Clayton Hamilton; Book- 
man, Dec, 1915. 

For writers, this is easily the most helpful article of the month; 
it is practically a study in perspective. Mr. Hamilton demonstrates 
the primary value of strategy, or broad plot outline, and shows 
the secondary importance of tactics or motivation (i.e., the manner 
in which happenings are accounted for). American writers, Mr. 
Hamilton believes, excel in tactics — management of detail; foreign 
authors in strategy — big, universal plot ideas. 
"What the Day's Work Means to Me," by Louise Closser Hale; 

Bookman, Dec, 1915. 

Mrs. Hale says that the prime requisite to success in one's 
vocation is "rhythm;" and that this means regular and uninter- 
rupted hours of work. 
"Stephen Phillips," by Padraic Colum; New Republic, Dec. 25, 1915. 

Every able criticism of an author may be turned as a search-light 
upon one's own work. Mr. Phillips possessed, says Mr. Colum, 
"journeyman's knowledge" — that is, he knew how to build scenes 
that delighted the crowd, and make verses that actors could speak; 
but "none of the personages in his plays ever says anything that is 
finally and absolutely their own." 
"Rupert Brooke," by John Drinkwater; The Forum, Dec, 1915. 

An illuminating criticism. 
"The Realism of Arnold Bennett," by Stuart P. Sherman; The 

Nation, Dec. 23, 1915. 

A helpful analysis of Mr. Bennett's methods. 
"Remy De Gourmont," by Ezra Pound; The Fortnightly Review, 

Dec, 1915. 

This is one of Mr. Pound's pungent paragraphs: "I even hope 
that intelligence, in writers, is coming back, if not into fashion, at 
least into favor with a public large enough to make certain kinds of 
books once more printable." 
"The Easy Chair," by William Dean Howells; Harper's Magazine, 

Dec, 1915. 

In his own delightful, leisurely fashion, Mr. Howells comments 
on the passing of "the short Christmas story." He persuades us 
that even the characters themselves, the "Motley Crew" of the old 
tales, would not have back again the "strong objective incidents and 
unquestionable motives and unmistakable denouements which 
have always [in the past] brought down the house." 



74 CLIPPINGS AND COMMENTS 

"Poetry for the Unpoetical," by Henry Seidel Canby; Harper's, 
Jan., 1916. 

"The prose [of magazine] is too frequently sensational or senti- 
mental, vulgar or smart. The verse, even though narrow in its appeal, 
and sometimes slight, is at least excellent in art, admirable in execu- 
tion, and vigorous and unsentimental in tone." Mr. Canby's article 
is throughout an elucidation of what readers want — and do not get. 

"Editor's Study," by Henry Mills Alden; Harpers, Jan., 1916. 

Towards the end of Mr. Alden's talk, there is a paragraph relat- 
ing to the influence of modern science upon fiction: "Inert matter 
and the commonplaces of life yield our modern surprises. Our 
novelists owe their realism for the most part to the trend of science 
and, in the best of fiction, to the fact that they have, more or less 
unwittingly, become psychologists." 
"Art and the War," by John Galsworthy; Atlantic Monthly, Nov., 

1915. 

A study of art in its relation to humanism. " 'Art for art's 
sake ' was always a vain and silly cry. The task of artists is to kneel 
before life till they rive the heart from it and with that heart twine 
their own; out of such marriages come precious offspring, winged 
messengers." Since the utility of art is to broaden men's hearts, 
and confirm their faith in the unknowable, it follows that "when 
the war is over the world will find that the thing which has changed 
least is art." 
"War and Creative Art," by J. D. Symon; English Review, Dec, 

1915. 

A further discussion of the subject treated by Mr. Galsworthy. 
"Exceptions to the Rule of Easy Writing and Hard Reading;" 

Dial, Dec. 9, 1915. In "Casual Comment." 
"Unhappy Endings;" Atlantic Monthly, Nov., 1915. In "The 

Contributors' Club." 

A humorous little admonition that writers who would sell had 
better look to their endings. It is the happy, not the artistic, de- 
nouement that is "in demand." 

"On Authors;" Atlantic Monthly, Nov., 1915. In "The Con- 
tributors' Club." 

To be read when we are tempted to take ourselves too seriously! 
"In Movie Parlance," by Paula Jacobi; Harper's Weekly, Dec. 4, 

1915. 

Miss Jacobi is clever and caustic. "Cut up your ideas," she 
says; "remember that you are writing for the 'average man'." 
" Moving Pictures Today," by Harold E. Stearns; Harper's Weekly, 

Dec. 11, 1915. 
"What is the Cleverest Crime on Record?" A Symposium of Well- 
Known Criminologists. Strand, Dec, 1915. 
"Big Moments of Big Trials," by Irvin S. Cobb; McClure's, Nov., 

1915. 



CLIPPINGS AND COMMENTS 75 

It is worth while to run over the foregoing two articles because 
they abound in plot germs. 
"The Illuminated Platform/' by George Jean Nathan; "A Literary 

Behemoth," by H. L. Mencken; Smart Set, Dec, 1915. 

It may seem a far cry to drag into this review these two articles; 
yet, surely, they belong! Any writer who would avoid the trite, the 
commonplace, the bromidic, who would beware of sentimentality 
and gush and theatricalism, can do no better than to read regularly 
Mr. Nathan and Mr. Mencken. They are warranted to shake any- 
one out of time-honored ruts! 

If the mellow Mr. Howells sits in his "Easy Chair" and stings 
the literary bungler with a graceful rapier, Mr. Nathan and Mr. 
Mencken strip for the arena, and strike the bad artist knock-out 
blows with their bare fists. 



OTHER ARTICLES OF INTEREST TO WRITERS 

Collated by Anne Scannell O'Neill 
VERSE 

"The Poetry of the Great War," Richard Le Gallienne, Munsey, 

Jan., 1916. 
"A Study of Old English Song and Popular Melody," Frank Kidson, 

Musical Quarterly, Oct., 1915. 
"Evolution in Hymnology," Charles H. Richards, Forum, Dec, 

1915. 
"Some Aspects of Rupert Brooke," Benjamin Horton, Eliot Literary 

Magazine (Washington University), Jan. 1, 1916. 
"Greek Poetry in English Verse," J. E. Page, Quarterly Review, Oct., 

1915. 
"The War and the Poets," Quarterly Review, Oct., 1915. 
"The Poetry of Gabriele D'Annunzio," Nineteenth Century, Oct., 

1915. 
"The New Movement in Poetry," The Nation, Oct., 1915. 
"French War Verse," Literary Digest, Nov., 1915. 
"Emile Cammaert; a Belgian War Poet," Review of Reviews, Oct., 

1915. 
"Rupert Brooke," John Drinkwater, Contemporary Review, Dec 15, 

1915. 
"Will Ragtime Save the Soul of the Native American Composer?" 

Current Opinion, Dec, 1915. 
"Sidney Lanier — a Study," Henry H. Harman, South Atlantic 

Monthly, Oct., 1915. 
"Straws — and Cannon Balls: Impressions of Some Recent Poetry," 

Katharine Bregy, Catholic World, Jan., 1916. 
"Recent Poetry," R. M. Alden, Dial, Jan. 6, 1916. 
"Voices of the Living Poets," Current Opinion, Jan., 1916. 



76 CLIPPINGS AND COMMENTS 

DRAMA AND MOTION PICTURES 

"On Poetic Drama," W. G. Hole, Poetry Review, Nov.-Dec, 1915. 
" Filmland as It Is and Was," Charles Van Loan, Collier's, Dec. 18, 

1915. 
"The Men Who Make the Movies Move," Charles Van Loan, 

Collier's, Jan. 1, 1916. 
"Vaudeville and Its Needs," Homer B. Mason, Dramatic Mirror, 

Dec. 25, 1915. 
"Why Wheels Turn Backward in Movies," Illustrated World, Jan., 

1916. 
"What Is To Become of the Theater?" Robert Anderson, Illustrated 

World., Jan., 1916. 
"Moving Pictures Today," Harold E. Stearns, Harper's Weekly, 

Dec. 11, 1915. 
"Why Don't They Sell?" William Parker, The Script, Sept.-Oct., 

1915. 
"Spain's Greatest Dramatist," Dr. Julius Bronta, The Drama, Nov., 

1915. 
"Ibsen's Treatment of Guilt," Rev. Principal Forsyth, D.D., Hibbert 

Journal, Oct., 1915. 
"Psychology of the Movies," Literary Digest, Dec. 4, 1915. 
"Drama and Music," Lawrence Gilman, North American Review, 

Jan., 1916. 
"The Life of Charles Frohman," Daniel Frohman and Isaac Mar- 

cosson, Cosmopolitan, Feb., 1916. 
"Selling Machinery by Motion Pictures," John M. Torr, Engineering 

Magazine, Jan., 1916. 



GENERAL ARTICLES 

"Some Aspects of Literary Production," Arthur W. Spencer, Mid- 
West Quarterly, Oct., 1915. 
"Oscar Wilde as a Critic," Alice I. Perry Wood, North American 

Review, Dec, 1915. 
"John Galsworthy," Louise Collier Wilcox, North American Review, 

Dec, 1915. 
"What is there in the Occult?" Bailey Millard, Illustrated World, 

Jan. 16, 1916. 
"A Parcel-Post Library System," Fred D. Holmes, Review of Reviews, 

Dec, 1915. 
"The Master of Prose," Aloysius J. Hogan, Catholic World, Nov., 

1915. 
"The Advance of the English Novel, Part 3," William Lyon Phelps, 

Bookman, Dec, 1915. 
"The Magazine in America," Part 10. Algernon Tassin, Bookman, 

Dec, 1915. 
"Some Bookman Contributors of 1915," Bookman, Dec, 1915. 



CLIPPINGS AND COMMENTS 77 

" French Idealism and the War," W. M. Fuilerton, Quarterly Review, 

Oct., 1915. 
"Some Recent German War Literature," M. Epstein, Hibbert 

Journal, Oct., 1915. 
" Aliens, Wedgewoods, and Darwins," Humphrey Ward, Quarterly 

Review, Oct. 15, 1915. 
"The Humour of Thackeray," Bishop Frodsham, Cornhill, Dec, 

1915. 
"French Criticism of Poe," George D. Morris, South Atlantic Quar- 
terly, Oct., 1915. 
"Everyday Lessons from New Books," John F. Faris, Book News 

Monthly, Dec, 1915. 
"Selma Lagerlof," Harvey E. Maule, Book News Monthly, Dec, 1915. 
"Mary J. Watts — an Impression and a Comment," Montrose Moses, 

Book News Monthly, Dec, 1915. 
"Religion and Literature in War Time," W. H. Kent, Catholic World, 

Jan., 1916. 
"Modern Hungarian Literature," Joseph Remenys, International 

Magazine, Dec, 1915. 
"Have Magazines and Newspapers Blunted our Appreciation of 

Literary Values?" Current Opinion, Dec, 1915. 
"The Librarian as a Literary Critic," Bernard C. Steiner, Dial, 

Nov. 25, 1915. 
"The Vocation of a Reporter," Peter Clark MacFarlane, Fourth 

Estate, Dec. 4, 1915. 
"The Power of the Playlet," Tor De Arozarena, Dramatic Mirror, 

Dec. 11, 1915. 
"The Past Year's Poetry," Literary Digest, Dec. 4, 1915. 
"Stevenson on the Stage," Clayton Hamilton, Bookman, Jan., 1916. 
"Portraits of American Authors" — II. Walt Whitman., Gamaliel 

Bradford, Bookman, Jan., 1916. 
"Speeding-Up the Author," Florence Finch Kelly, Bookman, Jan., 

1916. 
"In Fiction's Playground," Grace I. Colbron, Bookman, Jan., 1916. 
"Books and Authors," Living Age, Jan. 15, 1916. 
"The Younger Generation of American Genius," Professor Scott 

Nearing, Scientific Monthly, Jan., 1916. 
"Great Women's Daughters," Florence Leftwich Ravenel, North 

American Review, Jan., 1916. 
"The Biggest Newspaper 'Spoof on Record" — Illustrated — 

"Carlton," Strand, Jan., 1916. 
"Unrecorded Cases." "Can you solve them?" Henry Dudeney, 

Strand, Jan., 1916. 
"Literature on the Job," James H. Collins, Saturday Evening Post, 

Jan. 15, 1916. 
"Fact, Truth, Fiction and the Story," H. W. Boynton, Dial, Jan. 6, 

1916. 
"Literary Affairs in London," Dial, Jan. 6, 1916. 
"Eyestrain and Literature," George Gould, Dial, Jan. 6, 1916. 




The cover drawing of the Normal Instructor and Primary Plans 
for February shows a lad in khaki uniform — presumably that of a 
boy scout — about to raise the American flag in front of a schoolhouse. 
The flag lies upon the ground. This is contrary to all military 
practice, and should be contrary to any other practice, as the national 
emblem is never allowed to touch the ground, either in raising or 
lowering it. — V. W. 

One of the greatest charges against magazine artists is that their 
illustrations fail to live up to the descriptions and facts printed in 
the reading matter. Giving physical attributes and facial expres- 
sions to characters at entire variance to the author's delineation of 
them, is one of the most notable examples under this head. Louis 
Rogers, illustrating "A Christmas on Russian Hill," in the De- 
cember Sunset, certainly produces a drawing at variance with the 
description of the author (Louis J. Stellman). The old man's face 
is described as " sweet," " placid" and " saintly," but on referring 
to his pictorial representation any fair-minded critic certainly would 
not find a man in keeping with this word depictation. 

By long odds his face is far from being sweet — actually it ap- 
proaches the fierce, it is so gaunt, grizzled and piercing. The ad- 
jective "placid" surely is a misnomer judging by the picture. True, 
there is calmness — but there is as much difference between this old 
man and a "placid" one as between a monkey-wrench and a kangaroo! 
"Saintly" certainly cannot apply to a face that is both lacking in 
sweetness and placidity. To the contrary, the face registers trickery, 
cruelty and selfishness. — An H. C. S. Folk. 

In the November, 1915, issue of Smiths Magazine is a story, 
"The Revenge," that illustrates many defects to be avoided by the 
story writer. Tudor is a student, who, as a boyish prank, cuts the 
words, "Hastings is a louse" in the window pane. After the Pro- 
fessor's correction he works his revenge. 

The story abounds in many colloquialisms and obsolete words. 
One of the paragraphs beginning, "I am Prat, and Tudor and me 

were in the lower third . But there was a great difference in 

Tudor and me, because I was at the top of the lower third and he 
was at the bottom." Aside from the ludicrous self -introduction, 
one hesitates to venture a guess at the meaning. In the last half of 
a medium length sentence the author uses the word "Brown" or 
"Brown's" five times. Surely he "done it up brown" here. Several 
paragraphs in succession are introduced by, " I said; " or, " He said; " 
or, "Well." Perhaps this is the most wearisome tautology in the 



CRITICS IN COUNCIL 79 

whole story. The revenge is Tudor's stealing the Professor's glasses, 
which injures him in no way and causes but slight inconvenience. 
If the author intends satire or burlesque, his attempt is unwieldy. 

— L. L. Nichols. 

In "The Paper Windmill," by Amy Powell, in the Century 
Magazine for December, 1915, appears the following sentence: 
"Down stream slowly traveled a long stream of galiots piled with 
crimson cheeses. " This is hardly possible, as the cheese of Holland, 
as carried back and forth to market, is not crimson, but bright yellow. 
Only after the balls of cheese are taken to the wholesale packing 
houses are they shellacked with a crimson preservative preparation. 
Being thoroughly dry, they are then wrapped and packed for foreign 
shipment. My experience with the Holland cheese markets covers a 
period of six years. I have never yet seen a red or crimson cheese in 
Holland, but tons and tons of yellow. My experience has been con- 
firmed by conversing with many cheese merchants in Holland. 

In Dr. Esenwein's translation of Daudet's "La Derniere Classe" 
page 141, paragraph 14, of "Studying the Short-Story," appears the 
expression, "silk embroidered breeches." I have traveled in Alsace 
yet I have never once seen embroidered breeches, but black silk 
embroidered caps galore. So I looked the matter up in nine editions of 
"La Derniree Classe" and I found only "son jabot plissS fin et la 
calotte de soie noire brodee," etc. Evidently the translator mistook 
calotte for culotte — cap for breeches. — Ella Augusta Johnson. 

My critic is entirely right and I am glad to acknowledge the error. — J. B. E. 

In the story " By a Flash in the Night, " by Harold Brown Swope, 
January Munsey's, the following expression occurs on page 544; 

"The long twilight of the tropics " It is a matter of common 

knowledge, even among those who have never lived there, as I have, 
that there is no such thing as twilight in the tropics — the setting sun 
seems to carry a blanket of darkness in its wake. 

In the same issue occurs the following, in "Nothing but the 
Truth," by Octavus Roy Cohen and J. U. Giesy, page 642: "One 
block from the factory Kamura swung from the rear end of the car. 
He remained motionless until the car again stopped at the plant." 
What the writers evidently meant was that Kamura remained motion- 
less until the car again stopped — this time at the plant. — Austin 
Arnold. 

In Hall Caine's "The Eternal City," a Famous Players feature 
film, the same automobile and the same license number are used in 
two scenes which are years apart in story-time. — C. M. E. 

In "Blackbirds," a Lasky feature, "English Jack" wears a straw 
hat in the scene in which he meets "Leonie" at the railway station. 
Leonie is in a fur coat. — N. E. W. 

All the earth is full of tales to him who listens and does not 
drive away the poor from his door. — Rudyard Kipling 




The Everywomarfs World item in " Where to Sell" in December 
interested me very much because I sent a story to that magazine in 
September and received no word from it although I enclosed a stamped 
return envelope. War is being blamed for so many inconveniences 
that I gave them a rather long time to report, but at length I sent out 
a request for a verdict on the story. I am still waiting for a reply to 
the second letter. — Phoebe Lowrie. 

This note was dated January 7. — Ed. 

In the November issue of The Writer's Monthly, the Manag- 
ing Editor of Leslie's in his helpful article, " First Faults in Manu- 
scripts/' tells us that "some manuscripts make the mistake of 
invading the editor's office in the company of their writers." He 
makes it clear that he strongly favors such manuscripts as bear the 
credentials of the United States postage stamp. 

I read and grew curious. 

There is a story of an old German woman who up to her eightieth 
birthday had never been out of her own township. Her unique 
provincialism came to the ears of the Emperor, and he, desiring to 
have her remain a sort of curiosity, as it were, forbade her to go beyond 
the boundaries that had hitherto proved so satisfying. Immediately 
that contrary frau became enamored of travel and set out, bag and 
baggage, upon a journey! Even so, up to the moment I read Mr. 
Splitstone's article, it had never occurred to me to "invade" the 
editorial sanctum; but no sooner had the mystic "verboten" shad- 
owed the doorway, than straightway I felt a desire to beard an 
editor in his den. 

An opportunity soon arose. I saw in a Monday evening paper 
that there had been a most destructive fire on Catalina Island. As I 
had visited Catalina not a month before and moreover had some good 
views of it, I was sure my hour for a timely "story" had struck. I 
resolved to "beard the lion." 

Tuesday morning I made the typewriter hum, and Tuesday 
afternoon, taking a firm grip on my article and my courage, I started 
for editorial lairs. 

The first editor was very pleasant — and very firm. He told me: 
First, that everyone knew everything about Catalina because it had 
been so much written up. Second, that no one knew or cared anything 
about Catalina because it was so far away that few could ever hope 
to go there. Third, that if by any chance he wanted an article about 
Catalina, he could gather enough material from the encyclopaedias. 
Now his first two statements, seemingly so contradictory, were 
perfectly correlated by the simple fact that the idea of an article on 
Catalina did not appeal to him. 



EXPERIENCE MEETING 81 

I tried to tell him that I had been able to work a certain amount 
of local interest into my story, and that it really did not belong to the 
encyclopaedia class — but he shook his head, and I found myself 
again in the elevator. 

He had not even glanced at my manuscript. 

My second experience was even more discouraging. A long and 
tedious wait made me regret the things I might have been accom- 
plishing at home. The sight of others, also waiting, and as eager as I 
to sell their wares, made the whole game, somehow, seem disheart- 
ening. 

When I did get in to the editor he was tired out. He did not 
roar at me, exactly, but he would have liked to. He did not even 
pretend to listen to me ; said he had too much of everything on hand. 
The interview did not last two minutes. 

By that time I had wasted a whole afternoon, to say nothing of 
carfare and energy. "Bearding" appeared unprofitable. I came 
home. 

But that article was good; too good for the waste-basket! If 
only an editor could be persuaded to look at it! I bethought me of 
the "credentials of the postage stamp." "Catalina" was put into an 
envelope and sent off to a third editor. 

And he accepted it. 

To draw conclusions from a single experiment may seem unfair, 
yet how often a solitary straw will show the direction of the wind! 

Of course some writers argue that they go to editors to find out 
what articles would be likely to prove acceptable, to glean suggestions 
of editorial policy, and to gather ideas. Yet queries may be forwarded 
by mail, policy may be studied from publications, and, as to ideas, 
they are exactly what is most scarce in this business of writing, and it 
is hardly fair to expect the editor both to supply them and to pay for 
them. 

Why then should a writer waste both time and energy in an effort 
to beard the lion? Why not, safely at long distance, bombard him 
with manuscripts, and placate him with postage stamps? — Maidee 
Bennett Renshaw. 

I have found it an excellent plan to use a rubber stamp bearing 
my name and address in very small letters with which to stamp every 
page of my manuscripts. In several instances I have been saved the 
loss of valuable pages. — Arthur H. Riggs. 

He who would have full power must first strive to get power over 
his own mind. — Alfred the Great. 




The Word 




Conducted by the Editok 

In this little Department will be found from month to month such notes, observations, and 
criticisms on the values and uses of words as may be contributed, or provided by the Staff of The 
Whiter's Monthly. No offerings can be considered that are not brief, pungent, and accurate. 
Not alone the authoritative word-books but also good usage will be taken as the standard. 

It is interesting to notice now and then that certain words are 
used oftener incorrectly than accurately. Lurid is one such. Ask a 
roomful of people and the great majority will tell you that the word 
means red — flaring or even flaming red. The Standard Dictionary 
gives the following definition: 

"1. Giving a ghastly or dull red light, as of flames mingled with 
smoke, or reflecting or made visible by such light ; by extension, 
giving uncertain or unearthly light of any kind; as, lurid 
flashes of lightning; a lurid atmosphere. 2. Botanical. Of 
a dingy, dirty brown color; grayish orange. 3. Figuratively, 
ghastly and sensational; as, a lurid tale." 

Webster's International gives us this : 

"1. Pale yellow; ghastly pale; wan; gloomy; dismal. 'There is a 
leaden glare peculiar to clouds, which makes the snow and 
ice more lurid.' J. A. Symonds. 2. Appearing like glowing 
fire seen through or combined with cloud or smoke; as, 
lurid lightning. ■ Fierce o'er their beauty blazed the lurid 
flame.' Thomson. 'Wrapped in drifts of lurid smoke.' 
Tennyson. 3. Harshly or ominously vivid; ghastly; sensa- 
tional; grimly terrible; often, marked by violent passion 
or crime; as, a lurid fife; a lurid story. 4- Brown tinged 
with red." 
March's Thesaurus gives: 
"Giving ghastly or dull red light; gloomy; dismal. 

None of the other word books, whether dictionary or book of 
synonyms, gives any essential variation of the foregoing, yet how 
many would have read a connotation of bright red into the word? 

It may be merely the prejudice of a purist, but I have long dis- 
liked the use of the word claim as a perfect synonym for maintain. We 
claim as a right that which is ours, as, He claims the throne; but it is 
loose and colloquial, some lexicographers to the contrary notwith- 
standing, to say: I" claim that Darwin is wrong. 

It is a good exercise to make lists of words in an increasing or a 
decreasing strength of meaning, including all shades possible. Begin 
with whisper, for example, and work up to the loudest of vocal 
sounds, carefully observing the gradations. Perhaps you may want 
to fork your list, ending one at the most piercing sound and the other 



THE WORD PAGE 83 

at the heavier vocal noise, but be careful where you divide the stem of 
theY. 

The pupils in our schools would love words more and find greater 
satisfaction in word studies if they were not forced to worry over 
them at too early an age. When the mind is mature enough to see the 
value in words — to realize their importance in contracts, treaties, 
advertisements, letters, poems, and the like — is the time to dwell 
upon their niceties and dig into origins. There is a period in our men- 
tal development when we must learn that some things are so because 
they are so ; that is the period of memorizing. Later dawns the era 
when all — or most — things may be brought to the tests of reason. We 
who are devoted to the delights and profits of the printed page are in 
that time of life. Happy for us if our memories have been stored with 
enough language roots to make plucking words apart a second nature, 
for then we see many shades gleaming or hiding in words which to 
others suggest only the most primary ideas. 

But even those to whom "the languages" are sealed books may 
form the habit of dividing larger words into smaller entities. An 
hour's study in some old-fashioned grammar will refresh our knowl- 
edge of beginnings and endings in word construction and so throw 
new light on words long carelessly used. Imagination becomes a 
more real word when we think of it as image making. Kindness is 
more significant as we remember that they are full of kind-ness who 
are tender toward human kind. There is a whole chain of related 
meanings in this word alone. Think of all the shades of value in our 
word spirit. Connect it with its original, breath; then add all the 
prefixes and suffixes — all the beginning, ending and variation sylla- 
bles, and you have a little mental journey of delight and profit. 

The uses of that and which as relative pronouns confuse many. 
Sometimes they are quite interchangeable, but oftener the use of one 
or the other is clearly indicated by the nature of the sentence. One 
simple method is this : Use that, not preceded by a comma, to restrict 
a descriptive word or expression closely; as, The field that lies by the 
river is his. We use that to restrict the meaning sharply to one special 
field. Which is a looser relative pronoun and is better used to intro- 
duce an explanatory or descriptive clause than in a restrictive sense. 
For this reason it is often preceded by a comma; as, The field, which 
is the finest in the county, lay by the river. Omit the intermediate 
expression introduced by which, and the sentence is still grammati- 
cally complete. 

Or take as illustrations sentences which are alike except for these 
two words: I sold my horse that is lame. Here I restrict the meaning 
definitely to the lame horse, and by so doing suggest that I have at 
least one other horse; but when I say: I sold my horse, which is lame, 
I have made no such suggestion but have merely added a descriptive 
clause — a " relative" and "dependent" clause, as grammarians call it. 

Some writers of good English do not observe this distinction, but 
seem to use that and which by a sense of sound, being content to keep 
their sentences from bristling with ii thats. ,i It is well, however, to 
be aware of this discrimination. 



BIRMINGHAM WRITERS' CLUB 

Birmingham, Ala. 
. OFFICERS 
Meetings at 3 P. M. the first and third Tuesdays of each month, at 

The Newspaper Club 

Mrs. J. A. Rountree President 

Mrs. John B. Reid 1st Vice-President 

Mrs. John D. Head 2nd Vice-President 

Miss Myrtle Miles Recording Secretary 

Mrs. John D. Elliott Corresponding Secretary 

2111 14th Ave., South 

Mrs. Ned McDavid Treasurer 

Mrs. Sumter Bethea Critic 

Mrs. Flournoy Rivers Philologist 

VICTORIA WRITERS' CLUB 

Rochester, N. Y. 

Meetings on Friday evening at the Victoria Theater. 

OFFICERS 

Mrs. Adele Budd Ltjig President 

Miss Marguerite Gavin Vice President 

Mr. William O 'Brien Treasurer 

Mr. Earle Snyder Secretary 

THE SCRIBES 
Seattle, Wash. 

Flora Huntley Maschmedt President 

Anne Ridley Sutton Secretary 

Alice I. Jenkins Manuscript Secretary 

Sarah Jane Ritter Librarian 

THE PLAYWRIGHTS' CLUB 

New York City 

Meetings on every third Friday, {from September to June, inclusive), 

at 8 P. M. in the Council Room of the Actors' Equity Association. 

OFFICERS 

Robert Stodart President 

Leo Seidman . Secretary 

2940 Broadway 

George M. Nelson Recording Secretary 

J. Van Velsor Smith Treasurer 

Matthew White, Jr Publicity Man 

Gustav Blum General Committee Member 

The membership list is open to all who are engaged in writing 
plays intended for professional production. No one, however, can 
become a member until he or she has attended at least two meetings. 




TO 

5ELL 




The Writer's Monthly will buy no more manuscript of the larger sort before 
May, 1916, as the supply of accepted material is large. There is, however, present 
and constant need for departmental material, for short, pertinent paragraphs. 
Payment is made only in subscriptions or extension of present subscriptions. 

Popular Mechanics Magazine, Chicago, is ready to consider good views and 
brief manuscripts on any subjects related to science, mechanics, invention and 
discovery. They also publish some lengthy articles, and are open to suggestions 
as to interesting subjects at any time. They make two important requirements: 
Subject matter must always be NEW and INTERESTING to the majority of 
their readers. 

Boy Life, Terrace Park, Ohio, is at present crowded, having sufficient material 
on hand to run for months. 

The Household Guest, 141 W. Ohio St., Chicago, is not in the market for MS. 
save a few short articles and poems for use in their "Golden Hour" columns. No 
stipulated sums are paid for manuscript. In departments where prizes are offered, 
the "best" are awarded prizes. Articles which do not win prizes become the 
property of the Household Guest to use or destroy as their judgment dictates. 

The American Boy, Detroit, Mich., is always in the market for serials for boys. 
Stories may be from 30,000 to 60,000 words in length. At present they have an 
unusually large stock of serials and a story must have unusual merit to find a 
place. Fiction of from 2,000 to 3,000 words is needed, though stories of 5,000 
words are accepted if they are really worth the space. Only humorous verse is 
used. They have a heavy stock of special articles, but will always make room for a 
particularly timely and interesting article. Photographic illustrations are pre- 
ferred. Love stories, stories of girls, or stories of or for little boys are not wanted. 
Their readers average fifteen years of age. Photographs, accompanied by a brief 
statement, of the odd, the unusual, and the distinctly interesting can be used in 
their department "Novel Inventions and Natural Wonders." Accepted manu- 
scripts are usually reported on within two weeks. Their base rate is $7.00 per 
thousand words for manuscripts, but they pay a considerably higher rate for 
short-stories and material of particular merit. Payment is made on acceptance. 

At present the greatest need of the Boys 1 Companion, Chicago, is for short- 
stories of 2,000 words. They want bright, snappy, interesting stories that are 
clean and wholesome, and that picture some interesting feature of boy life. They 
also like special articles on gardening, poultry raising, money making, manual 
training, etc. However, being issued by a philanthropic society they are notable 
to pay well, and consequently have to depend upon contributed manuscripts. 
Some verse, jokes and anecdotes are used, but these are paid for only in subscrip- 
tions. It is their custom to accept or return manuscripts promptly. 

The Farmer's Wife, St. Paul, Minn., is always glad to examine fiction which 
has a warm, bright, human appeal. As the name of the periodical indicates, this 
appeal must be made to farm women, though that does not mean that the stories 
must be given a rural setting exclusively. Manuscripts are reported on within a 
week or ten days and payment is made on acceptance. 

The Vitagraph Company of America, East 15th St. and Locust Ave., 
Brooklyn, N. Y., is in the market for strong drama or melodrama of the finest 
quality and of unusual plot, of three, four, or five reels; also for one-reel comedies 
for Sidney Drew. They have a very good market for the best in the slap-stick line. 

Mr. J. C. Miller, editor of the George Kleine motion pictures, 805 East 175th 
St., New York City, writes: "We are, at the present time, in the market for five- 
reel society dramas, modern and American in atmosphere and locale, and nothing 
else." 



86 WHERE TO SELL 

The Selig Polyscope Company, 58 East Washington St., Chicago, is not 
now in the general market for photoplay stories. 

Gaumont Co., Congress Ave., Flushing, N. Y., wants only five-reel scripts 
which can be produced at its Jacksonville, Florida, studios. They prefer to con- 
sider finished scenarios, but will consider synopses from inexperienced writers. A 
big dramatic theme is essential. 

The Keystone Film Co., 1712 Allesandro St., Los Angeles, is in the market 
for brief synopses of strong situations upon which comedy may be built. They are 
looking for big dramatic and melodramatic combinations, and not for light 
comedy stories. They read and consider very carefully everything that is submit- 
ted. 

The Annex Motion Picture Co., National City, Cal., has retired and will 
not operate again. 

Home and Country, Cincinnati, Ohio, is in need of humorous, sentimental 
fiction of 2,500 to 5,000 words in length, and special articles, well illustrated, on 
travel, uplift, household, etc. They also use a small supply of verse. Manu- 
scripts are reported upon within two weeks. 

The following statement has been received from Marion Stevenson, Editor- 
in-Chief, Bible School Literature, Christian Board of Publication, St. Louis, Mo. : 
" I take this method of saying to the host of writers who have been kind enough to 
submit manuscripts to us that we find ourselves supplied with material for 1916 
for all our papers, Little Ones, Young Evangelist, Round Table, Social Circle and 
The Front Rank. We wish to save our friends from disappointment and delay in 
submitting matter to us at present. Manuscripts for 1917 will be quite welcome 
about the first of August, 1916. However, we are in the market for Special Day 
Stories of not over 2,000 words, for such days as Easter, Mothers' Day, May Day, 
Memorial Day, Flag Day, Commencement Day, etc. Special Day Stories should 
be in our hands three months ahead of date of publication. We will endeavor to 
read and report promptly. We are always ready to read a good serial of ten to 
fifteen chapters, about 2,000 words to a chapter. Serials are paid for on publica- 
tion. Short stories are paid for soon after acceptance. Please enclose stamps and 
not stamped envelopes for return of manuscripts." 

Mrs. Clara E. Bickford-Miller has taken the managing editorship of the 
Housewives 1 League Magazine, with editorial offices at 450 Fourth Ave., New 
York. Mrs. Miller intends to reorganize entirely the editorial policy and make 
this periodical one of the leaders in the women's field. It will occupy a distinctive 
position, devoting itself wholly to special articles on how to reduce the cost of 
living; how to buy economically; how to manage the various departments of 
the home; and similar matters that are vital to the problem of housekeeping. 
These articles may be illustrated with photographs. The price paid will depend 
entirely upon the value of the article to the housewife. Mrs. Miller is the wife of 
Dr. Francis Trevelyan Miller, the author and historian, and has entered the 
magazine field for the purpose of developing a sphere hitherto unoccupied. Mrs. 
Francis Bowe Sayre, the daughter of President Wilson, is Honorary Vice-President 
of the Housewives' League, of which this magazine is the official organ. 

The Canadian Courier, The Courier Press, Ltd., Toronto, states that they 
confine themselves to the work of Canadian and British writers and therefore 
material from American writers is not desired. 

The Christian Herald, New York City, is always ready to consider good 
serials of 45,000 to 80,000 words in length, and short-stories of 2,000 to 3,000 
words. Being a religious weekly family paper, it draws the line at certain classes 
of fiction, but within its own domain it can use stories that take a wide range. It 
is constantly overcrowded with special articles, but it is glad to consider any 
really good articles on special topics and will welcome any suggestions to furnish 
articles from writers who know their field thoroughly and are expert. Manu- 
scripts are reported on within a week to a month, unless there is a good cause 
for longer delay. Payment is usually made on publication, though exceptions are 
sometimes made to this rule. 



WHERE TO SELL 87 

Drama, 736 Marquette Bldg., Chicago, is always glad to have articles, from 
1,000 to 3,000 words, on new phases of drama production, the play, stagecraft, 
and the like. The style should be suited to a dignified quarterly. Manuscripts 
are reported on within two weeks, and payment at the rate of $10.00 per thou- 
sand words is made on publication. 

Everybody's Magazine, New York City, is in need of both short and long 
serials, of from 40,000 to 50,000 words, and from 80,000 to 100,000 words. They 
must be fast-moving action stories, containing a love interest. They also want 
short, romantic love stories, of 4,000 to 7,000 words in length. Humor and anec- 
dotes can be used in their " Chestnut Tree " department. Manuscripts are reported 
on within ten days and payment is made on acceptance. 

Dry Goods, New York City, will consider short-stories of 2,000 words if they 
have a strong bearing on efficiency work in a dry goods store. Everything must 
have a bearing on the sale of dry goods, buying, selling, advertising, wrapping, 
delivery, window trimming, etc. Special articles on dress fabrics, laces, knit 
goods, and ready-to-wear garments can also be used. Reports on manuscripts are 
made promptly and payment is made on publication. 

Woman's Magazine, New York City, is in the market for short-stories of 
2,000 to 3,000 words, which are full of action and probability. They can be about 
man or beast, but must be bright and clean. Personality sketches with photos, 
especially of women and children, are acceptable. They need short articles on 
things for children to do, also practical housekeeping and homemaking articles. 
Rejected manuscripts are reported on within ten days, accepted manuscripts 
within one or two weeks. Payment is made on acceptance. 

Popular Magazine, New York City, uses serials of 60,000 to 100,000 words, 
and short fiction of 3,000 to 20,000 words in length. It is distinctly a man's 
magazine and it uses adventure, detective, humorous and business stories. All 
the stories must be excellent in the qualities of technique, realism and character- 
drawing, and must contain action. Popular Magazine also purchases reliable 
editorials for their "Caught in the Net" department. Manuscripts are reported 
on within ten days, and payment is made on acceptance. 

Everyday Life, Chicago, uses serials of 10,000 words and short fiction of 3,000 
words in length. These must be love stories, containing a detective interest. 
Manuscripts are reported on within three weeks, and payment is made on 
acceptance. 

For the best 3,500 word essay on "Alcohol and Economic Efficiency" 
written by any student in a Baptist college or seminary a prize of $100 in gold is 
offered. Contributions should be sent to Rev. Quay Rosselle, D.D., 1701 Chest- 
nut St., Philadelphia, before April 1, 1916. 

The Committee of One Hundred offers a series of prizes, aggregating $1,000, 
for poems on Newark, N. J. and its 250th Anniversary, and plans to publish the 
best of the poems submitted in a volume to be entitled, "Newark's Anniversary 
Poems." In this competition all of the poets of our country are invited to par- 
ticipate. Manuscripts must reach the office of the Committee on or before 
April 10, 1916. The Free Public Library will gladly furnish to any inquirers 
further particulars of the contest, as well as information about Newark's past, 
present and future. 

Sterling Motion Picture Co., Hollywood, Cal., wants one or two-reel 
comedy subjects, and will pay top-notch prices for something along new lines. 

The Universal Film Company, Universal City, Cal., is in* the market for 
one-, two- and three-reel dramatic subjects, and one-reel comedies. All their 
features are written by members of the staff. 



i 



The Writer's 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwbin 



Entered at the Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1015, bv The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by The Home Corre- 
spondence School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

Vol. VII February, 1916 No. 2 



We are happy to announce 
that Mr. Van Buren Powell, who 
teaches Photoplay Writing in 
The Home Correspondence 
School, has recovered from a 
short but serious illness and has 
now joined the Vitagraph staff. 
Mr. Powell was for years Scenario 
Editor of the Colonial Film 
Company but lately has been 
doing free-lance work and adding 
to his already large list of suc- 
cessful photoplays. More power 
to his arm! 



A word should be said in de- 
fense of prominent writers who 
are criticised for not replying 
definitely — if at all — to letters 
sent to them by literary aspirants 
in search of help. Almost with- 
out exception, writers who have 
won their way by years of dis- 
couraging work are really sym- 
pathetic, but do young writers 
realize how much it cuts in on 
the time of a busy man to read 
letters, let alone answering them? 
Many times the correspondent 
writes at length — sometimes at 
exasperating length — and tucks 
in an inquiry about three-fourths 



of the way through. Or he asks 
the author's opinion about a 
story which he may not have 
read. Or he wants what amounts 
to a legal opinion on a question 
of contractual rights or of copy- 
right. 

Time is not only a commercial 
asset to the author but a spiritual 
— a nerve, a thought, an inspira- 
tional — asset as well, and we 
should be slow to impose need- 
less tasks upon those who must 
conserve their moments if they 
would write well or even write 
at all. 

If you write to an author 
observe these seven rules: 

1. Be brief. If you can't be 
brief, don't write. 

2. Don't write of anything 
that merely shows an egotistic 
wish to explain your own feelings, 
family history, and personal 
troubles. 

3. Put any question you may 
ask in such form that it may be 
easily separated from your letter 
and answered by a few words 
written on the same sheet. 

4. Don't fail to prepay the 
postage fully. A two-cent stamp 
will carry a sealed packet from 
San Francisco to Boston, but 
the recipient will have to pay 
the postage due at the Boston 
end. 

5. Don't fail to enclose a 
stamped, addressed envelope if a 
reply is requested. 

6. Don't ask for free criticism 
of your work unless you ask your 
dentist or your tailor for free 
service. Authors live by their 
pens, or want to. 

7. Don't write at all unless on 
second thought you think it right 
and wise. 

We might add one more don't, 
on our own account: Don't be 
thin-skinned; The Writer's 



EDITORIAL 



Monthly cannot help those who 
take offence when the truth is 
spoken kindly. 



We have never known a 
mother to announce that she had 
a homely baby. No more should 
a young writer tell an editor that 
the work sent is probably worth- 
less but is sent in the hope that 
some slight merit — and so forth. 
Though the editor never judges 
a manuscript by its author's 
opinion — for if he did he'd bank- 
rupt his publisher in three fort- 
nights — it is unnecessary to pro- 
fess a modesty one cannot rea- 
sonably be expected to feel. 

On the other hand, is it not 
natural for an editor to discount 
the manuscript which is accom- 
panied by the writer's earnest 
assurance that it is better than 
many he has seen in that editor's 
magazine? Common sense should 
dictate a wise course when offer- 
ing a manuscript. The author 
who neither lauds nor depreciates 
his offering is likely to be the 
one who lets his manuscript do all 
the talking. 



We are prone to think that the 
wise counsels of those who advise 
writers on sundry points of 
practice are over-wise and not of 
so much importance as the sev- 
eral journals for writers would 
make out. The editor of The 
Writer's Monthly has had 
frequent occasion to put many of 
these bits of counsel to the test, 
and he feels their importance 
more and more. 

A case in point is the value of 
having a carbon copy of one's 
manuscript and, what is even 
more important, noting on that 
carbon all the emendations made 
on the first copy, so to call it. 



This is especially important in 
compositions where great care 
has been given to polishing. The 
great poets have left numberless 
records which show that a single 
word in a poem has been changed 
year after year until the line 
stands faultlessly expressive of 
the poet's thought. The fact 
that such changes have not been 
made on all available manuscript 
copies has sometimes occasioned 
confusion, if not worse. 

Less than two years ago an old 
friend came to town and I called 
to see her. "How is your new 
book coming on?" I asked. The 
lady could scarcely tell me, so 
great was her sense of loss. This 
was the story: She had just 
returned from South America. 
While taking a native dugout at 
the Barbadoes to carry herself 
with her belongings to the north- 
bound liner, the boat had cap- 
sized in the surf and she escaped 
with her life, and the clothes on 
her back. In her luggage was 
the one copy of her latest novel, 
for which her publishers were 
waiting, and all her jewelry, be- 
sides wearing apparel and sou- 
venirs du voyage. 

I condoled with her for the loss 
of the jewels and such, but after 
all they were replaceable; what 
could I say, however, to comfort 
my friend for the loss of two 
years of work! And such work 
as I knew it to be! Every word 
patiently wrought like so much 
fine gold — each line so weighed 
and altered that she had quailed 
before the task of transferring 
the changes to a carbon copy, if 
there had been one — and there 
had not been. There was no 
course left but to do what Carlyle 
did when a careless servant 
bundled a valuable manuscript 



90 



EDITORIAL 



into the fire — set to work and 
write it again. But the job was 
mountainous. Today Caroline 
Lockhart's "The Man from the 
Bitter Roots" testifies not only 
to the author's unusual courage, 
but to the wisdom of having at 
home a carbon copy of one's 
manuscript, even if on that 
carbon are not noted all subse- 
quent changes. 

It seems a shame to point a 
moral with so painful a tale, but 
the service its recital may do to 
some one will perhaps justify its 
use. 



The gentle art of literary theft 
is not new, witness this polite 
reminder from the pen of Martial, 
whose epigrams so bitterly stung 
the Romans: 

Why, simpleton, do you mix your 
verses with mine? What have you to 
do, foolish man, with writings that 
convict you of theft? Why do you 
attempt to associate foxes with lions, 
and make owls pass for eagles? Though 
you had one of Lada's legs, you would 
not be able, blockhead, to run with the 
other leg of wood. 

Aside from Martial's delicate 
modesty, this gem is worthy of 
repetition. Was it, we wonder, 
as effective as a modern lawsuit 
would be? 



When the epigrammatist said 
that epigrams are made at the 
expense of truth he himself made 
an epigram that must be tested 
by his own dictum. Yet how 
much we owe to the terse state- 
ment of a striking truth — all the 
more striking, often, because it is 
collocated with its opposite. The 
fact is that nearly all views of 
truth are one-sided, but that 
quality does not lessen the value 
of vivid epigrams, if only the 
onesidedness be allowed for. Take 



Longfellow's advice: "Give what 
you have. To someone it may be 
better than you dare to think." 
Treat these sentences as the old- 
time parson did his texts — dwell 
on them word by word, test them, 
amplify them, turn them, apply 
them, and a score of spirits will 
arise from their hearts to cheer 
you on to write your best. 



Anne Scannell O'Neill is con- 
cerned lest the note over her 
name in the January Writer's 
Monthly convey the impression 
that she accused the Famous 
Players Company of improper 
conduct. But her note did not 
so impress us, nor, we surmise, 
did it so impress others. She 
writes: "The incident I cited 
happened three years ago when 
submitting to a minor company 
whose reader, I suppose, was not 
very scrupulous." 



Our new department contain- 
ing lists of articles of interest to 
writers, from the current maga- 
zines, ought to prove popular 
because helpful. 



It is odd that contributors to a 
journal for writers should so 
often neglect to enclose postage 
for the return of manuscript, yet 
the frequency of this practice 
compels us to say that we cannot 
report on offerings unaccom- 
panied by return postage. 



Have you some experience 
which has taught you a valuable 
lesson? Come, share it with us 
by speaking out briefly and 
pointedly in our new depart- 
ment, " Experience Meeting." 

Send us timely items for "H. C. S. 



H. C. S, FOLKS 91 

Folks" When and where have stage, with title, medium and 

your contributions appeared? date. We read many magazines, 

Don't simply tell of acceptances— but not all, so a score of H. C. S. 

we can announce only work Folks escape mention every 

which has appeared in print month because they are too 

or on the screen or on the timid to send us word promptly. 



H. C. S. Folks 

Anne Scannell O'Neill, St. Louis, Mo., is the author of a book of 
charming short stories which has just been brought out by the 
Society of the Divine Word, Techny, 111., under the title "The Little 
Shepherdess and Other Stories." 

Mrs. Harriette Gunn Roberson, Spokane, Wash., has just been 
engaged to deliver lectures in eighty western cities during the coming 
season. She lectures on subjects of inspiration to young people. 

Mrs. Charles C. Townsend, Washington, D. C, has an interest- 
ing story in January Young's Magazine, "Seeing Red." 

F. Annette Jackson, Demorest, Ga., has a well written dialect 
story in the January issue of Black Cat. It is entitled "The 'Stiller's 
Rock House." 

Mary Coles Carrington, Richmond, Va., has a charming poem in 
the January issue of the Southern Woman's Magazine. She has also 
made a very unusual contribution to the January St. Nicholas. It 
consists of a five-page poem entitled "A Little Boy's Friends." The 
publishers have brought it out effectively with a series of twenty-six 
illustrations. The poem is one of the most ingenious that we have 
lately seen. 

Mattie T. Cramer, Cascade, Mont., has an informing illustrated 
article in the Sunday issue of the Great Falls Tribune. The article 
discusses gold mining in the Little Rockies. 

W. Dayton Wegefarth's poem "Be a Man" is printed with an 
illuminated border in the January issue of the Book News Monthly. 

Alix Kocsis Anderson, Washington, D. C, has a poem, "The 
Star of Mother Love" in The Royal Cross for January. The same 
magazine also publishes a delightful little poem by the same writer, 
entitled "How Oats, Peas and Barley Grow." 

Jane Burr, Chicago, whose verse is seen frequently in All-Story 
Weekly and other magazines, has sold over five hundred poems in 
the past four years. 

Mrs. Maidee Bennett Renshaw, Edgewood Park, Pa., has a 
lively story in Breezy Stories for January. It is entitled "Motors 
Versus Margins." 

F. L. Battles, Erie, Pa., has a characteristically cheerful automo- 
bile story in Motor Print for January entitled "A Merry Oldsmobile." 

Mrs. Margaret Denny Dixon, Richmond, Va., has a helpful 
article entitled "How I taught my Children to Read in Six Weeks" in 
the November number of the American Primary Teacher, Boston. 



The Writer's Book List 

Prepared by the Editorial Staff of The Writer's Monthly and Continued from Month to Month 

A good working library is an essential for the writer who would succeed. If you cannot have a 
large library, you can at least have a good one, small though it be. It may cost some present 
sacrifices to own the best books, but the investment will pay abundantly before long. 

Each volume in the following list of "Specially Recommended" books, and those which were 
specially recommended in succeeding issues, has been carefully chosen as being the best in its class 
and for the purpose designed, and is known to us as reliable and adequate. Each book covers 
either its field entire or a distinct phase of its special subject, as indicated by the notes, so that the 
several specially recommended books in any one class overlap in scope just as little as possible. 
Therefore the entire list of specially recommended books on any one subject — and they are few in 
number, in every instance — form a complete working library on that theme. 

The "Other Good Books" listed are all valuable, and hence worth reading and owning, yet 
in our opinion they are not so necessary as the specially recommended titles. In most instances 
they either cover much the same ground as some of the books included in the former list, or are 
suited for the special study of minor divisions of the subject, and are here recommended for those 
who wish to go into the matters more completely, or who wish to possess more than one treatise 
on the subject. 

Any book will be sent by The Writer's Monthly on receipt of price. The prices always 
include delivery, except when noted. Send all remittances to The Writer's Monthly, Myrick 
Building, Springfield, Mass. 



English Grammar and Usage 

Specially Recommended 

Grammar and Its Reasons . $1.65 

By Mary H. Leonard. This volume pre- 
sents the best modern thought on the sub- 
ject of English grammar. The chapters 
are short, definite and easy of reference; 
it is a handy, helpful book for the teacher, 
the student, and the writer. Not a dry 
text-book, but pleasingly written. XV + 
375 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

A Working Grammar of the English 
Language - . $1.64 

By James C. Fernald. A lucid explana- 
tion of the principles of grammar. VIII + 

333 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Other Good Books 

Maxwell's Advanced Lessons in En- 
glish Grammar . $0.70 

By William Maxwell, Supt. of the New 
York City Schools. It embraces the theory 
and practice necessary during the last two 
years of a grammar school course or through- 
out a high school course. It is intended to 
serve as a text-book, and as a book of reference. 

334 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

The English Sentence . $0.75 

By Lillian G. Kimball. All the forms 
are clearly illustrated by profuse quotation. 
A carefully graded book. 244 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 

The English Language . $0.80 

By Brainerd Kellogg and Alonzo Reed. 
A brief history of its grammatical changes 
and its vocabulary, with helpful light 
thrown on the use of prefixes, suffixes, and 
synonyms; also word analysis, and word 
building. V + 170 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

A Primer of Essentials in Gram- 
mar and Rhetoric $0.30 

By Marietta Knight. A good condensed 
treatise. 64 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Composition and Rhetoric 

Specially Recommended 
English Composition . $1.50 

By Barrett Wendell, Harvard. Proba- 
bly the most inspiring and delightful book 
on the subject ever written. In the form 
of lectures. No exercises. X + 316 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 

English Composition in Theory and 
Practice . . . $1.35 

By Henry S. Canby and others. A thor- 
oughly practical book of directions for good 



writing, based upon sound principles ; exten- 
sive collection of examples. Revised edition. 
XIV + 465 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Thought-Building in Composition 

$0.90 

By Robert W. Neal. A training-manual 
in the method and mechanics of writing, 
with a supplementary division on journal- 
istic writing as a means of practice. VII -f- 
170 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

The Rhetorical Principles of Narration 
$1.25 

By Carroll L. Maxey. An illuminating 
analysis of the three rhetorical elements of 
narrative: setting, character, and plot; 
together with some comments on the short- 
story. 279 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

The Working Principles of Rhetoric 

$1.40 

By John Franklin Genttng. An ex- 
traordinary, fascinating and helpful book. 
This is the best advanced rhetoric ever 
written. XIV + 676 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Other Good Books 

Elements of Composition $1.10 

By Henry Seidel Canby and John Baker 
Opdycke. A complete manual for the 
study of composition, whether in schools 
or without a teacher. About forty pages 
are given to the writing of fiction and one 
hundred pages to a thorough review of the 
the principles of letter writing, spelling, 
capitalization, punctuation, figures of 
speech, prosody, proof reading and gram- 
mar. The rest covers the subject of com- 
position. X + 593 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

English Composition for College 
Women .... $1.35 

By Elizabeth Moore, Dora Gilbert 
Tompkins and Mildred MacLean. Deals 
specifically with a number of subjects not 
usually found in text-books: the lecture, 
the demonstration, the club paper, the book 
review, story telling for children, and the 
interpretation of pictures. XI -j- 314 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 

The Essentials of English Com- 
position .... $1.10 

By James Weber Linn. A practical 
treatise with a large number of exercises 
and examples. Helpful especially to 
writers. Mr. Linn is himself a successful 
short-story writer. XIV + 186 pp. 
Leather. Postpaid. 



THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST 



93 



Illustrative Examples of English 
Composition . $1.10 

By James Weber Linn. Contains a large 
number of examples from established 
writers, grouped under exposition, argu- 
mentation, description and narration. 
Helpful models for the writer. X + 246 pp. 
Leather. Postpaid. 



How to Write 



$0.50 



By Charles S. Baldwin, Yale. A pungent 
little volume containing sound advice on 
"How to Prepare a Speech," "How to 
Prepare an Essay," "How to Tell a Story," 
and "How to Describe." 200 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 



Practical Rhetoric 



$1.12 



The Way into Print 



$0.25 



By John Duncan Quackenbos. Clear, 
simple and philosophical. 477 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 

. $1.20 

By Adams Sherman Hill, Harvard. One 
of the best rhetorics ever written. 431 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 



The Principles of Rhetoric 



The Art of Writing English $1.30 The Writer's Book 



This booklet, the contents of which are 
encyclopaedic, contains practical articles 
on many phases of writing by such authors 
and editors as Jack London, Albert Bigelow 
Paine, Amos R. Wells, Robert H. Davis, 
L. W. Quirk, Edward Broderick, Horatio 
Winslow, Elliot Walker, Walden Fawcett, 
Arthur T. Vance, Frank Putnam, and 
James Knapp Reeve. 48 pp. Paper. 
Postpaid. 



$2.50 



By Rollo Walter Brown and Nathaniel 
Waring Barnes. A practical discursive 
rhetoric based upon the work of two suc- 
cessful college professors. 382 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 

Principles of Composition and 
Literature . $2.10 

By Robert H. Fletcher, Grinnell Col- 
lege. In two parts. Composition, com- 
prising 160 pages, and literature, comprising 
355 pages. The two parts coordinate and 
cover their respective subjects clearly and 
well. The treatise on literature is confined 
to the theory of its various forms rather 
than to a discussion of authors. XII -f- 
515 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

The Study of the Paragraph . $0.60 The Art of Authorship 



By James Knapp Reeve (founder of The 
Editor). A work designed to afford writers 
an insight into certain technical, commer- 
cial and financial aspects of the profession 
of letters as followed by the general writer 
for current publication. It discusses in 
brief and interesting manner a host of sub- 
jects in which newspapermen and authors 
are interested. 141 large pp. Cloth. Post- 
paid. 



$1.50 



Practical Authorship 



By Helen Thomas. A complete exposi- 
tion of just how paragraphs are formed, 
together with full exercises for the develop- 
ment of skill in paragraph writing. 125 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 



A compilation of the most helpful and 
practical articles on all phases of author- 
ship which have appeared in The Editor 
magazine. 414 large pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 



$1.25 



Edited by George Bainton. A remarka- 
ble record contributed personally by nearly 
every great modern English and American 
author (prior to 1890), telling how they 
learned to write. X -f- 355 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 



The Art of Writing in General success in Literature 



$1.25 



Specially Recommended 

The Craftsmanship of Writing $1.30 

By Frederic Taber Cooper, Columbia. 
Eight direct and discriminating articles on 
such important topics as talent, self- 
criticism, form, clearness, style, etc. 275 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 

Talks on Writing English — First and 
Second Series . each $1.30 

By Arlo Bates. Two volumes of rare 
good sense and distinct helpfulness — full of 
meat and inspiring vigor, covering the 
whole range of authorship. Over 300 pp. 
each. Sold separately. Cloth. Postpaid. 



Other Good Books 



The Author's Craft 



$0.85 



By Arnold Bennett. Four essays on 
Seeing Life, Writing Novels, Writing Plays, 
and The Artist and the Public by a popular 
English story writer and playwright. 
124 pp. Boards, cloth back. Postpaid. 



By William Morris Colles and Henry 
Cresswell. A connected collection of 
comments on the subject by experienced 
writers of all time. 360 pp. Cloth. Post- 
paid. 

Studies in Structure and Style $1.10 

By W. T. Brewster. Analytical and sug- 
gestive studies based on seven great modern 
English essays. XII + 280 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 

How the French Boy Learns to 
Write . . ' . . $1.35 

By Rollo Walter Brown, Wabash Col- 
lege. Seeing that the superiority of the na- 
tive of France in the art of writing is not 
confined to the masters of literature but 
holds also among the schools, Mr. Brown has 
made a full study of the methods by which 
composition is taught in France. The 
results are sure to be helpful to those who 
are teaching themselves to write as well as 
to teachers in our schools. IX + 260 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 







No questions can be answered by mail, nor can we supply names of players taking part in 
certain pictures. Questions relating to the writing, sale, and production of photoplays and other 
literary forms will be answered in this column, but readers are asked to make their letters brief 
and to the point. 



C. R. OHIO. — The Black Cat is published by the Short-Story Publishing 
Company, Loring Ave., Salem, Mass. They want clean, clever, original stories 
ranging from 1,000 or less to 5,000 words — stories so unusual and so fascinating 
from beginning to end as to interest everyone. They particularly wish stories 
that are free from padding, commonplace and foreign phrases. No story can be 
considered that has appeared in print in any other way, either wholly or in part. 
They do not use verse, plays, translations or dialect stories, neither do they use 
illustrations. The Black Cat makes it a condition of the purchase of a manuscript 
that they acquire all rights thereto of whatsoever nature when buying the story. 
We always advise that an author examine several copies of a publication before 
offering stories. 

A. O. H. — Our opinion is that it would militate against the sale of a novel if 
it were first produced on the screen unless the screen version became very famous 
and then a book publisher would be likely to feel that its popularity as a photo- 
play would serve as a good advertisement for the book. For some years some of 
the less prominent publishing houses have been "novelizing" plays from the 
legitimate stage, but this is very rarely done in the case of the photoplay, except 
in great feature subjects which have had worldwide publicity. 

SQUIRES, ALBANY. — No, it is not wise to send an editor newspaper 
clippings about yourself and your work. His employer pays him to read and edit 
manuscript, therefore, he has no time for such matters until you have shown him 
by sending him a salable manuscript that you are a "comer" — then he will ask 
you for personal details if he can use them in an advertising way. Notwithstand- 
ing all exceptional instances — and doubtless there are such — you must rely upon 
the merit of your work and not upon newspaper puffs. 

COLLEGIAN. — We know of no "school of authorship," except the Uni- 
versity of Hard Knocks, of which Fra Elbertus used to speak and from which he 
was graduated — summa cum laude, as they say at Princeton. There are several 
excellent schools of journalism in different parts of the county and the better 
equipped colleges all offer courses which more or less directly equip the student 
for practical literary work. Besides, The Home Correspondence School gives 
actual working courses in Poetics and Versification (two distinct courses), Short- 
Story Writing (three separate courses), Play Writing, Photoplay Writing, Vaude- 
ville Writing, Journalism, and courses in all the preparatory and college English 
studies — each taught personally by a recognized authority. From this array of 
practical teaching you should be able to select an institution and studies that 
would give you the needed preparation. But with it all you will need to write 
and write and write. 

RUBY MAYNARD, TEXAS.— It is impossible to say how many words a 
short-story should contain, as we know of short stories which contained less than 
500 words and are perfectly well done, whereas we know of others that contain 
10,000 words and are equally well done. It is however, a fact that there is small 
chance for a story of over 5,000 words, unless the story is supremely well done. 
3,500 words is a good commercial length. 

AN OLD SUBSCRIBER: — In the theatre, as in literary criticism, it is not 
always possible to make definitions cleave sharply. A sketch is a short play which 
leaves no highly unified impression — it lacks the compact organization of the true 
playlet. A skit is merely a light, humorous sketch — often a bit of burlesque. Your 
other question will be answered next month. 



Short-Story Writing 



A COURSE of forty lessons in the history, form 
structure, and writing of the Short-Story taught by 
Dr. J. Berg Esenwein, formerly Editor of Lippin- 
cott's Magazine. 

Btory-writere must be made as well as born; they 
must master the details of construction if they would 
turn their talents to account. 

May we send you the names of students and gradu- 
ates who have succeeded? And the success their let- 
ters prove is practical. It means recognition, accepted 
manuscripts and checks from editors. 

One student, before completing the les- 
sons, received over $1000 for manuscripts 
sold to Woman*s Home Companion, 
Pictorial Review, McCalVs, and other 
leading magazines. 
Dr. Esenwein 

We also offer courses in Photoplay Writing, Poetry 
and Verse Writing, Journalism; in all over One Hundred Home Study Courses, many of 
them under professors in Harvard, Brown, Cornell, and other leading oolleges. 

250-Page Catalog Free. Please Address 




THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL, 
Department 78, Springfield, Mass. 



The Art of Story Writing 

By J. Berg Esenwein, Lit.D., author 
of "Studying the Short-Story," "Writ- 
ing the Short-Story," etc., etc., assist- 
ed by Mary Davoren Chambers, M.A., 
Professor in Rockf ord College. 



This is Dr. Esenwein's latest and most 
authoritative word regarding the subject 
on which he is recognised as the leading 
specialist — the Short-Story. Beginning 
with the anecdote, this work simply and 
clearly leads the writer up by easy stages 
to the writing of the complete short-story. 
Every phase of the subject is treated so 
fully and in such a delightfully lucid 
style that the self-instruoted student finds 
the best story-writing methods open 
before him like a page of large print. 
Cloth, postpaid, $1.35. Order of 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

Springfield, Mass. 



OUR SCRIPT 
CRITICISM SERVICE 

Up till now our charge for giving an 
expert criticism on any and all scripts, 
regardless of length, has been two dol- 
lars. In announcing a change we do not 
do so because others are charging more, 
but because we find it absolutely neces- 
sary in view of the increased number of 
multiple-reel scripts which are being 
sent in for criticism. In the future 
therefore, our charge for this service will 
be TWO DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST 
REEL AND ONE DOLLAR FOR 
EACH ADDITIONAL REEL. Writers 
will continue to receive the very best 
and most careful criticisms and sugges- 
tions that Mr. Powell can give them. 

We reserve the right to return any 
script that we deem absolutely un- 
worthy of criticism, making a charge of 
one dollar for reading the script and 
giving the writer an expert opinion of 
the script's merits and short-comings. 
Such a letter will equal the "criticism" 
given by many who offer such service, 
the only difference between this and our 
full criticism service being that Mr. 
Powell will not examine and comment 
upon each and every scene in detail. 
(Fees do not include return postage which 
should always accompany manuscripts). 

The Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 



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WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY 

Everyone interested in Photoplay Writing should have a copy 
of the new and standard work, "Writing the Photoplay," by J. Berg 
Esenwein and Arthur Leeds. The following excerpts are typical 
of the opinions expressed by leading photoplaywrights and editors 
all over the country: 

It is a careful and ezaot treatise handled intelligently, comprehensively and with authority. 
It will be helpful to all students of photoplay and should find a place in all libraries on 
technique. It is or edit able in every way. — Epts Winthrop Sargent 

This week and next my department in The Moving Picture News will contain compli- 
ments for your Photoplay Correspondence Course and for the book. The book is the 
best that has come to my attention. As author of the first text-book of any pretensions 
placed on the market for photoplaywrights I desire to congratulate Messrs. Esenwein 
and Leeds. — William Lord Wright. 

"Writing the Photoplay" is issued uniform with "Writing the 
Short-Story," "The Art of Versification," and other volumes of 
THE WRITER'S LIBRARY. IX + 374 pp. Illustrated. Postpaid 
$2.12. 

The Home Correspondence School 
SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 



What 

New Thought 

Does 

It dissolves fear and worry. 

It brings power and poise. 

It dissolves the causes of disease, 
unhappiness and poverty. 

It brings health, new joy and 
prosperity. 

It dissolves family strife and 
discord. 

It brings co-operation and de- 
velopment. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox Knows 

the value of New Thought; and she tells 
about it in the little booklet, "What I Know 
About New Thought." More than 50,000 
persons have sent for this booklet. 

FOR 10 CENTS you can get the above 
booklet and three months' trial subscription 
to Nautilus, leading magazine of the New 
Thought movement. Edwin _ Markham, 
William Walker Atkinson, Orison Swett 
Marden, Edward B. Warman, A. M., 
Horatio W. Dresser, Paul Ellsworth, Kate 
Atkinson Boehme, Lida A. Churchill and 
many others are regular contributors. 
Elizabeth Towne and William E. Towne 
are the editors. Send now and for prompt 
action we will include the booklet, "How 
To Get What You Want." The Elizabeth 
Towne Company, Dept. 960, Holyoke, 



AMERIKA ESPERANTISTO 

(The American Esperantist) 
$1.00 per year 
An international monthly in English 
and Esperanto, — the international 
language. 

"I never understood English gram- 
mar so well until I began the study of 
Esperanto." 

Send 10c for sample copy and receive 
a "Key to Esperanto" FREE. 
The American Esperantist Co., Inc. 
Dept. W 
WEST NEWTON, MASS. 

SONG LYRICS AND 
MELODIES 

Why try to market a lyrio or 
melody that possesses no oommero a 
value? Why become a victim to the 
honeyed words of the song shark? 

A good song by a beginner may not 
bring a fortune in royalties, but if 
properly marketed it will bring some 
financial returns and afford the tyro a 
start. 

The Writer's Monthly for a small 
fee will examine your lyric or song, give 
you a frank and detailed criticism on it, 
tell you whether it has any commercial 
and poetical value, and give you a list 
of publishers most likely to purchase it. 

Should the song contain sufficient 
merit, our Song Department will 
market same for you on a 10% com- 
mission basis, provided you are willing 
to sell your work outright. 
Reading fee for separate lyric . 1.50 
Reading fee for a complete song. 2.50 
Address: 

Song Dept., Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 

(Return postage should accompany all 

manuscripts) 



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COMPLETE YOUR FILES OF 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

We have on hand a few complete files of THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
new series, from May. 1913 to May, 1915 (June-July, 1913, being a special 
double number). Tnese twenty-five monthly numbers, placed in your 
working library will give you 840 large pages crammed with instructive 
articles and helpful information for writers. Among the interesting 
features in these numbers of the magazine are the delightfully readable 
personality sketches of Epes Winthrop Sargent, William Lord Wright, 
Marc Edmund Jones, F. Marion Brandon, Horace G. Plimpton, Maibelle 
Heikes Justice, Frank E. Woods, George Fitzmaurice, Russell E. Smith, 
James Dayton, Hettie Gray Baker, C. B. Hoadley, Arthur Leeds, William 
E. Wing, Henry Albert Phillips, John Wm. Kellette, Catherme Carr, 
Phil Lonergan, Raymond L. Schrock, Beta Breuil, Gilson Willetts ana 
A. Van Buren Powell. Many of our readers have declared that this 
monthly feature is alone worth the price of a year's subscription. The 
department, "Thinks and Things," has also helped to make this helpful 
little periodical famous. The series of articles on "Photoplay Construc- 
tion," by J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds, running through many 
numbers, should be read by everyone who is seeking to perfect his technical 
knowledge. "Diagnosis and Culture of the Plot Germ," by John A. Mc- 
Collom, Jr., is a series of six articles that will prove invaluable to the 
writer who experiences difficulty in developing the "plot habit," that most 
necessary equipment to a successful literary career. Scores of special 
articles by the most prominent editors, critics, and photoplay writers of 
the day make these issues of the magazine a veritable working library of 
photoplay knowledge. 

While they last, we offer these twenty-five numbers to our readers for 
$2.00. Send your order to 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 



CORRECT ENGLISH- 
HOW TO USE IT. 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE. 

Josephine Turck Baker, Editor. 

Your Everyday 
Vocabulary — 

HELPS FOR SPEAKERS 
HELPS FOR WRITERS 

Business Letter Writing- 
And Business English. 

and many other subjects 
Sample copy 10c. 

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS. 



AUTHORS 
And Literary Workers 

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THE 

DRAMATIST 



A Magazine devoted exclusively 
to the Science of Play Con- 
struction. 

Current plays analysed in such 
a way as to afford the student 
a grasp of applied dramatur- 
gic principle. 

Endorsed by all leading Play- 
wrights, Managers and In- 
structors. 

Subscription $L00 a Year 

Specimen copy 10 Cents 



The DRAMATIST 

EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA 



A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 



The Writer 
Monthl 




Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY AUTHOR 



Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



MARCH, 1916 



NUMBER 3 



J. 



IN THIS NUMBER 

Pin - Money - Writing 
for Girls: Where to 
Get Plot -Ideas: The 
Censor Talks: Writing 
for Health Magazines : 
Other Good Articles 
And Ten Departments. 



>- 



THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 
Springfield, Mass, 

15 Genu a Copy $1.00 a Year 



REAL HELPS FOR WRITERS 

The seven volumes listed below are issued in uniform size and style, printed on 
superior antique book paper, and handsomely and durably bound in cloth, with letter- 
ing in gold and gilt top. Together they constitute the most helpful series of authorita- 
tive working handbooks for the writer's desk. 12 mo., postpaid at prices quoted. 

THE ART OF STORY WRITING. Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
work on Story Writing. A direct and effective guide to actual fictional narration. The 
chapter on plot alone is worth the price of the book to any writer, xi + 211 pp. $1.35. 

WRITING THE SHORT-STORY Esenwein. The standard textbook on the technique 
of the Short-Story. Widely used in colleges and universities. A complete course includ- 
ing theory, models and practice exercises in actual writing, xiv -f- 441 pp. $1.25. 

STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. A companion book to Writing the 
Short-Story. Sixteen short-story masterpieces, with methods for analysis. No writer 
and no lover of good stories can afford to miss this well-spread feast, xxxii + 488 pp. 
$1.25. 

THE TECHNIQUE OF THE MYSTERY STORY. Carolyn Wells. With introduction 
by Dr. Esenwein. A complete exposition of the mystery story form. A book that stimu- 
lates insight into the methods of successful writers of plotted stories and at the same 
time cultivates fertility in the mind of the reader, ix + 336 pp. $1.62. 

WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
photoplay construction. Recently reported by the New York City Public Library as the 
book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 374 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION. Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii + 810 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An inspirational 
working handbook of instruction for all who would be efficient public speakers. A book 
with a ''punch" on every page. xi -f 612 pp. $1.75. 

// on inspection a book is found undesirable and it is returned within ten days, the pur- 
price, less postage, will be refunded. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY, Springfield. Mass. 



A Well-Known Writer says: 

"Webster's New International 

is a marvel of completeness. It is an indispensable 
feature of the library of every man who either reads 
or writes. There is no matter of land, sea or sky that 
does not come within its purview and every topic is 
handled by a master." 




4-OCS ,0OO Vocabulary Terms. New Gazetteer 
12,00© Biographical Entries. 2700 Pages. 
Over 6000 illustrations. Colored Plates 

Regular Edition. Printed on strong book 

paper of the highest quality. 
India-Paper Edition. On!y half as thick, 

only half as heavy as the Regular Edition. 

Printed on thin, strong, opaque, India paper. 

More Scholarly, Accurate, convenient, and Au- 
thoritative than any other English Dictionary. 
Critical Comparison with all other dictionaries 
Is Invited. 

WRITE for specimen pages. 

6. & c. merriam c©.«, Springfield, Mass. 



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The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 



A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII 



March, 1916 



Number 3 



WRITING FOR HEALTH MAGAZINES— L. E. Eubanks 

GLEANINGS— Anne Scannell O'Neill .... 

PIN-MONEY-WRITING FOR GIRLS— George J. Thiessen 

THE POET'S PIPE— George Allan England 

A WORD FROM THE CENSOR— Earle Phares . 

MR. GUITERMAN WRITES TO POETS 

A CLUB THAT IS DIFFERENT— M. Pelton White 

WHERE TO GET YOUR IDEAS FOR PLOTS— Glenn H. Harris 

LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS— XV— J. Berg Esenwein 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— HINTS FOR THE BEGINNER 
E. M. Wickes 

COUNSEL FOR AUTHORS— Karl von Kraft 

THINKS AND THINGS— DEPARTMENT— Arthur Leeds 

THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE— DEPARTMENT— 

Anne Scannell O'Neill . 

H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT . 
EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 
CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT 
PARAGRAPHIC PUNCHES— DEPARTMENT 
WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT 

EDITORIAL 

THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST 
ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES 



99 
101 
104 
107 
108 
109 
111 
113 
114 

119 
123 
124 

127 
129 
131 
132 
134 
135 
138 
140 
142 



Published monthly by The Home Correspondence School, Myrick Building, Springfield, Mass. 

Copyright, 1916, by The Home Correspondence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Entered at Springfield, Massachusetts, Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter 

PRICE 15 CENTS A COPY: : : $1.00 A YEAR 
CANADA $1.25; FOREIGN, $1.50 



TWO UNIQUE NEW BOOKS 



u 



The Technique of Play Writing" 

By CHARLTON ANDREWS 

Author of " The Drama Today, " etc. 

This notable book, just from the press, is clear, concise, 
authoritative and without a rival. It actually takes you 
by the hand and shows you how to draft a plot, select 
your characters, construct dialogue, and handle all the 
mechanics of play construction. Every point in play 
writing is brought out with clearness. No such effective 
guide has ever been written. XXX + 267 pages. Cloth, 
Gilt Top. $1.62 Postpaid. 



a 



Writing for Vaudeville' 1 



By BRETT PAGE 

Author of "Close Harmony" "Memories" "Camping Days" 
Etc. Dramatic Editor" Newspaper Feature Service" N ew York 

The first and only book on the subject. An expert writer 
for the vaudeville stage here shows precisely how every 
vaudeville form is written. Nine full examples of the 
several types — monologue, two-act, musical comedy, play- 
let, etc. — are given by authors of international reputation, 
including Richard Harding Davis, Edgar Allan Woolf and 
Aaron Hoffman. Valuable chapters on popular-song 
writing, and selling vaudeville acts. A mine of informa- 
tion. 650 pages. Cloth, Gilt Top. $2.15 Postpaid. 



The latest volume of "The Writer's Library" 
THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 

Springfield, Mass. 

Plea»e mention The Writer's Monthly when writing advertisers. 



Vol. vii March, 1916 Number 3 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 

Writing for Health Magazines 

L. E. EUBANKS 

To write for the health magazines one does not have to be a 
doctor, nurse, scientist or gymnasium director. Every person knows 
something about health in general and his own health in particular. 
What you know may be highly interesting and entirely new. The 
body affords a field for study as boundless as the science of astronomy. 
The knowledge of health you have gleaned from experience is 
peculiarly your own. The most learned physician or expert physical 
culturist may not have encountered the particular combination of 
conditions which makes up your life. 

These "been there" articles usually find a market. Ours is 
decidedly a practical age; there is a premium on first-hand informa- 
tion. The health journals in particular are very partial to "personal 
experiences." Experimentation in health matters has always been 
popular, and if you have any knowledge along this line and can dress 
it in literary clothes, you can sell it. 

The market is not large, and many of the papers receive their 
matter gratis. I find that, as a rule, the editors in this field are fair, 
and send back work, with explanations, if they do not pay. Some 
even offer to give the manuscript literary finish if the writer cares to 
submit his contribution in skeleton form. Physical Culture, Flatiron 
Bldg., New York City, the leader of its kind in America, has always 
stood ready to help contributors in every possible way, and very 
rarely uses a stereotyped rejection-slip. If your manuscript is not 
entirely hopeless, Editor Brenton will write you a "just why" letter. 
Physical Culture likes articles of about two thousand words on diet, 
exercise, sexology, etc. Short stories are used occasionally, and a good 
virile serial is kept going. Payment comes about the middle of the 
month following publication, at the rate of five dollars a printed page, 
three-quarters of a cent a word. 

Health, formerly edited by Chas. A. Tyrrell, in New York City, 
was merged with Physical Culture two years ago. Dr. Tyrrell paid 
only half a cent a word, but was a "prince" to deal with. 

Good Health, Battle Greek, Mich., uses mostly staff material. 
They are always glad to examine manuscripts, with a view to buying, 
and treat writers courteously. Particularly interested in vege- 
tarianism. 



100 WRITING FOR HEALTH MAGAZINES 

Health Culture, Passaic, N. J., likes personal experience articles 
on diet, exercise, etc. The editor is Dr. Elmer Lee; but the proprie- 
tor, Albert Turner, negotiates for the contributions. He prefers to 
pay in books, subscriptions, health appliances or advertising space, 
at the rate of half a cent a word. Usually, a writer can dispose of 
the books to a dealer for about half the list price. Money is sometimes 
paid for suitable photographs. 

Life and Health, Washington, D. C, does not pay for unsolicited 
matter; neither does the Journal of Outdoor Life, 287 Fourth Ave., 
New York City. The latter confines itself pretty closely to the 
subject of tuberculosis. 

Healthy Home, Athol, Mass., is a market for short contributions 
of three or four hundred words. Long articles are seldom considered. 
The rate of payment is not fixed; the editor prefers to pay for qual- 
ity, not quantity. Much of the matter is quoted from other papers. 

Journal of Public Health, Evansville, Ind., and the Health 
Gazette, 1100 Wabash Ave., Chicago, possible markets of the past, 
have discontinued publication. 

Though a bit discouraging, it is best to know when it is useless to 
send your work to a certain periodical. If it is in abeyance or does 
not pay, professional writers cannot afford to waste time with it. 

Sanitorium, Wyoming Bldg., Denver, Colo. A Jewish concern 
and strictly honest, though the rates are low. Tuberculosis and its 
treatment is their main subject. Some fiction is used. 

Naturopath and Herald of Health, 112 East Forty-first St., New 
York City, is a "back to nature magazine." The editor might ar- 
range to pay for unsolicited matter, if the appeal justified. 

Mind and Body, Germantown, Philadelphia, Pa., is devoted 
principally to athletics and gymnasium work. Most of the contribu- 
tors are teachers of gymnastics, playground instructors, etc. 

National Food Magazine, Monolith Bldg., New York City, likes 
to receive reports of domestic science schools on the pure food 
crusade and household matters, menus, recipes, etc. A serial story 
and some juvenile matter are used. 

Critic and Guide, better known, perhaps, as The Dietetic and 
Hygienic Gazette, leans decidedly to the medical viewpoint. The 
editor is Dr. William J. Robinson, and most of the contributors are 
physicians. I am not very familiar with this magazine; but it seems 
a bit too technical for the general writer. 

There are other health magazines in America, but I have men- 
tioned the principal ones accessible to the average writer. In Eng- 
land there are several with which I have done satisfactory business. 
English editors insist particularly that manuscripts be typewritten, 
and they prefer that the sheets be fastened together at the corners. 
Most of them will not refuse to return a manuscript unaccompanied 
by return postage if the contribution covers only a few pages; but 
it is better not to risk it, especially if the package is heavy. One can 
procure international reply coupons at most post-offices now. These 
are exchangeable for stamps. 



GLEANINGS 101 

It is better, though not imperative, to submit an outline of the 
article you wish to write, and get the editor's suggestions. This plan 
is much more popular in England than with us. 

Health and Vim, 46 Gray's Inn Road, London, W. C, pays cash 
on publication for available matter. The editor prefers that the 
writer name a price for his article, though he will, in the absence of this 
stipulation, pay at the rate of two or three dollars a thousand words. 
Recently, the editor intimated that the war had caused a reduction 
of their rates. 

Health and Strength, Windsor House, Kingsway, London, W. C, 
is a weekly. It uses about the same kind of material as Health and 
Vim — articles on exercise, diet and hygiene. A little fiction with a 
strong physical culture motif is used. Their rates are low, and it 
takes good " stuff" to bring a cash remuneration. They prefer to 
pay in books, subscriptions, etc. Courteous people to deal with. 

Vitality, formerly published in London, has discontinued, and 
I think the same is true of Apollo's Magazine. These were among 
the best of their kind. 

The Herald of Health, London, is made up largely of staff con- 
tributions. The "man at the wheel" is a woman, a clear-headed, 
vigorous champion of youth-preservation and hygienic living. She 
is glad to read articles, and might use an outside contribution that 
struck the right chord. 

The outdoor and sporting magazines sometimes accept health 
articles, if they are not too technical, and have a strong outdoor 
flavor. To illustrate, I placed an article on the physical benefits of 
recreation, with Outdoor Life. 

And it sometimes pays to drop a health article or story into the 
field of general magazines. Health is such a vital matter that you 
are certain of at least a respectful audience from any quarter. One 
of my greatest surprises came when a certain high-class magazine 
devoted to fiction and travel, accepted a " spasm" of mine on muscu- 
lar exercise. Moral: Never say die. 



Gleanings 

By Anne Scannell O'Neill 

Mr. Simon A. Baldus, managing editor of Extension Magazine, 
Chicago, is offering a splendid opportunity to the writer of Catholic 
fiction. For a really big story of from three thousand to eight 
thousand words he offers to pay $100, $200, or even $300. In a 
pithy editorial in the February number of his magazine he writes a 
number of things which will interest the average author. 

" Short-story writing is an art that can be acquired," he informs 
us. "If you have a modicum of talent, you can develop that talent 
if you are patient and persevering, and willing to study and work 
and have a determination to succeed. Intelligent work and de- 



102 GLEANINGS 

termination constitute the great secret. Remember that in order 
to write a good, clever, big short-story, you must serve an appren- 
ticeship. No man or woman without previous thought, practice, 
study and experience can sit down and dash off an acceptable story. 
It can't be done. It is absurd to imagine that it can be done. You 
must train yourself. The greatest writer of short-stories served a 
seven years' apprenticeship under the severest of masters. 

"The method of the writer of to-day, his manner of telling a 
story, is different from the manner and method that prevailed two 
or three decades ago — a fact which many of our Catholic writers 
altogether disregard. 

"The story that's told — the narrative style of story — is out of 
date; and the story that is ' worked out' by the characters before 
the reader's eyes has taken its place. To write the latter is vastly 
more difficult and means that the man or woman who desires to 
excel in modern short-story writing must master the technique, the 
mechanics, etc., that enter into story construction. 

"I feel certain that most of my readers are familiar with the 
stories of such writers as 0. Henry, William Allen White, Fanny 
Hurst, Edna Ferber, Montague Glass, Bruno Lessing, and a half 
hundred other writers of modern short fiction. Why, I ask, can not 
we develop some of our Catholic men and women so that they will 
become to us what these writers are to the secular magazines? 

"Do not ask me what kind of stories to write. Nobody told 
these masterly delineators what kind of stories to write or where 
to find their material. Remember that the men and women for whose 
stories the secular editors are vying, and willing to pay big prices, 
are not writers of ordinary stories; they had originality enough to 
depart from the conventional standards of fiction, the ingenuity to 
discover new types' of character, and inventive ability to evolve 
new surroundings. 

"There are unsounded depths for a new kind of fiction — clean 
stories of modern life, with real men and women in them. Look 
about you, and perhaps you will discover within a stone's throw 
from where you live, or work, a corner of the world still unexplored, 
and types of character still unexploited. Richard Harding Davis 
Actionized his experiences and observations as a reporter; Myra 
Kelley found her material in the classroom, Bruno Lessing in the 
Ghetto, Mary Synon in the North Country; and 0. Henry every- 
where — in the streets, in the restaurants, in the social highways and 
byways, whether in New York, South America, or Kalamazoo." 

An editorial in The Notre Dame Scholastic, published by Notre 
Dame University, Notre Dame, Indiana, calls attention to the lack 
of originality in college papers and stories written by students : 

"A western editor raised his voice in condemnation recently 
after he had acted as a judge in a college essay contest. Out of three 
hundred papers he found almost two hundred that were sufficiently 
alike to be easily traced to the nearest encyclopedia. In a few cases 
the writers had stuck in an original phrase or two to take the curse 



GLEANINGS 103 

off." The editor goes on to say that second-hand stuff is never worth 
while. If the student must turn to reference books for every essay 
he pens, or if he has to copy his speeches, stories, reports, it proves 
his intellect is sadly deficient. And the same might be said of and to 
the aspiring author. Anybody can copy. "Originality alone merits 
success." 

That the war has exerted the greatest influence on fiction and 
other branches of writing is not to be disputed, with our magazines 
teeming with war material and our book marts turning out shoals 
of war books. But it remained for Charles Rann Kennedy, author 
of "The Servant in the House," and "The Terrible Meek," to re- 
mind us that the war affected literature five years ago. To quote 
from an article by Joyce Kilmer in the New York Times Magazine: 

"The literature of the first decade of the twentieth century was 
more thoroughly and obviously influenced by the war than will be 
that of the decade following. Think of that amazing quickening 
of the conscience of the French nation, a quickening which found 
expression in the novels of R6ne" Bazin, the immortal ballads of 
Francis Jammes, and in the work of countless other writers! These 
people were preparing themselves and their fellow-countrymen for 
the mighty ordeal which was before them. 

"It is blasphemous to say that the war can only affect things 
that come after it; to say that is to limit the powers of God. There 
are, of course, some writers who can only feel the influence of a thing 
after it has become evident; after they have carefully studied and 
absorbed it. But there are others, the manikoi, the prophetic mad- 
men, who are swayed by what is to happen rather than by what has 
happened. I'm one of them." 

John Masefield, the famous English poet, author of "The Ever- 
lasting Mercy," etc., who is again in America, once worked at the 
Columbia Hotel, where for ten dollars a month he cleaned glasses, 
served beer and cigars, and incidentally cared for the saloonkeeper's 
baby. This was in 1902. The New York Post gives an impression 
of Mr. Masefield as he appears on the lecture platform today: 

"He is a plain, strong-looking man, very simple in manner, 

very gentle in speech He accepts his own gift as a part of 

the general scheme, the general unexpectedness of things, for which 
a thoughtful and glad gratitude is the only possible return. One 
finds in him the same simplicity, the same love of beauty and search 
for truth which is in the most beautiful of his poems." His latest 
book "Good Friday and Other Poems," has recently been published 
by the Macmillans. 

An interesting question is raised by the remarks of Dr. Robert 
Underwood Johnson, Permanent Secretary of the American Academy 
of Arts and Letters, who, as editor of the Century Magazine, had 
Mrs. Dora Knowlton Ranous as an editorial assistant. (Mrs. 
Ranous recently committed suicide when confronted with the terror 
of blindness.) Dr. Johnson wonders why some wealthy man or 



104 PIN-MONEY-WRITING FOR GIRLS 

woman has not endeavored to establish a fund for the use of impover- 
ished writers? The New York Times Magazine (Jan. 30) writes an 
interesting article anent the subject recalling the medieval patron- 
age system in vogue during the early history of English literature. 

A recent publication is entitled "A Dictionary of Simplified 
Spelling." The book contains 12,000 words and was compiled by 
Dr. Frank H. Vizetelly from the "New Standard Dictionary," and 
based on the publication of the United States Bureau of Education, 
the Rules of the American Philological Association, and the Simpli- 
fied Spelling Board. 



Pin-Money- Writing for Girls 

By George J. Thiessen 

Some years ago when I was city editor of a newspaper, I received 
a letter from a young lady asking what the chances were for her to 
earn some pin money by writing. As it is not unusual for an editor 
to receive such letters, especially if he happens to sell an article or a 
story of his own once in a while, I was about to tell her that the 
untrained writer stood little show at all of making any money and 
clinch the argument by reference to the many years of apprentice- 
ship the successful writers had to serve. In fact, I was reviewing 
Jack London's career, so that I should be armed with facts to con- 
vince her that with talent she would have to toil years, perhaps, 
before she sold a manuscript; and lacking this God-given ability — 
a bitter struggle paid for only by a knowledge of failure. However, I 
did not write that letter. 

For the time being, the request I had received lay upon my desk, 
forgotten in the rush of the day's work. When later I took it up 
again, the words "pin money" arrested my attention. Since most 
of the would-be writers feel confident of producing a "best seller" 
at their very first attempt, the modest aspirations of my interrogator 
led me to suggest a personal interview. At the appointed time she 
entered my office and took the chair I placed for her. 

"Miss Helen Brown" was a typical American school-girl, per- 
haps seventeen or eighteen years old. I learned that her parents 
were neither rich nor poor, but of the comfortable middle class. Her 
father earned a salary of about two thousand dollars a year as clerk 
in a bonding company. There were two other children in the family, 
a brother and a sister, both younger. 

"So you want to write?" I questioned, after she had given me 
this information. 

"Yes," was the answer. 

"Any experience?" 

To be frank, I expected to hear of the prizes she had won in 
English; the praises of her Rhetoric teacher; the story or poem she 



PIN-MONEY-WRITING FOR GIRLS 105 

had written which her friends had pronounced " perfectly lovely." 
Instead, she informed me with perfect candor that she had no knowl- 
edge of the work at all, but thought she could learn. So unusual was 
this that I decided she would prove an apt pupil. 

The first few days I put her to work studying the columns of 
the daily papers and rewriting the news items. It was a tiresome 
task but she stuck to it with determination. Systematic labor 
enabled her to forge ahead rapidly, and at the end of the next week 
she was able to express her thoughts understandingly in simple, 
terse language. When a month had passed, she was given in charge 
to the society reporter of our paper and under her guidance developed 
into an efficient assistant. Today, after three years of apprentice- 
ship, she is on the staff of a well-known publication, drawing a good 
salary. Her spare time is devoted to writing a thousand and one 
things, most of which eventually find their way into the magazines 
as " fillers." They are well paid for, considering the time spent in 
composition. Sometimes, too, I see a story or an article from her 
pen, showing she is going forward and winning greater success. But 
even better than the money that she makes is the knowledge of her 
progress; the satisfaction of seeing her name in print and knowing 
that her brain is responsible for the instruction and entertainment 
of hundreds of thousands each year. 

What "Helen Brown" did any average girl can do, provided 
she has the ambition to learn, and is limited only by the number of 
openings. The beginner in the large city has more chances than her 
sister in the small town for coming into contact with real news, or 
ideas to develop into material for publication. The markets of a 
metropolis, too, are more numerous for literary wares, but on the 
other hand, competition among writers is greater. To offset these 
advantages — if such they be — is the interest of the kindly country 
editor. He is always ready with useful words of encouragement and 
advice to the aspiring writer. 

As intimated before, the novice must acquire a workable vocabu- 
lary of English as it is written in the newspapers and other publica- 
tions today. Fine writing — the use of big words — is fatal to success. 
Brevity and accuracy are absolutely essential. Know, when writing 
for the papers, what is news and what is not. For instance, the fact 
that Miss Rich, of Farmville, Iowa, spoke on woman's rights before 
the "Four Hundred" of that place, would not, unless she was a 
national figure, have any special significance to the editor of the 
New York World. On the other hand, depending upon how well 
she was known, many of the larger Iowa dailies might devote some 
space to her and her views. To the Farmville Advertiser, Miss Rich's 
speech would be important and undoubtedly featured. Therefore, 
to know what to write and what to omit is one of the "tricks of the 
trade" which fortunately is not hard to learn. Common sense, in 
most cases, is an infallible guide. 

Generally speaking, after a girl has mastered a reportorial style 
and knows what is news and where to look for it, her next step is 
to secure a job or assignment. Where regular work is desired, this 



106 PIN-MONEY-WRITING FOR GIRLS 

is usually difficult, especially in the cities. Perhaps the writer who is 
inexperienced will find no better way than studying the paper or 
magazine, and submitting, in so far as is possible, the kind of material 
the editor is interested in. Success in this will usually lead to a staff 
position. 

One woman whose name is well known to the reading public, 
departed somewhat from this method and wrote a series of human- 
interest stories dealing with the slums. This subject, by the way, 
has been done to death in most places, but in every city of any size 
there are interesting topics awaiting the pen that discovers them. 

A successful writer in another place started her career by making 
arrangements with smaller dailies in the state to supply them with 
interesting bits of gossip which she was able to pick up among the 
state officials. Fortunately, she lived in the capital city and knew 
the governor, which gave her the opportunity to meet senators and 
representatives. The news she sent, needless to say, was the unusual: 
the traits and stories of the men themselves rather than their public 
work. Incidentally, some of her best material often found its way 
to the magazines, where it was better paid for than by the papers. 

The village weekly should be the first goal of the girl in the small 
town. In many cases there will be little or no financial return. But 
the editor will usually be able to tell of city dailies near by who want 
a correspondent, and from this, provided the writer is capable, it is 
but a step to better things. The rates paid a correspondent vary 
according to the size and prominence of the paper, depending also 
upon the importance of the writer's community. 

Some member on the staff of the small daily usually sends the 
news of his city to the larger papers. Those that have no representa- 
tive, however, will gladly pay for what they publish. 

So much for the press, daily and weekly. I have spoken of it as 
the school training for the would-be writer. Beyond this field is a 
broader marker — hundreds of publications glad to purchase the 
wares suited to their columns. Particularly are the farm papers, 
the poultry journals, and the magazines for women looking for 
articles of interest to their readers. The literary qualifications are 
not high, generally speaking, for it is the ideas that are wanted. 
Most of these periodicals prefer manuscripts of five hundred words 
or less, although longer ones are often published. 

Briefly, typewritten work is essential. Some editors even refuse 
to read an article or story set down with pen and ink. Strive, above 
all, for neatness. Mail manuscripts flat, never in a roll. Enclose 
a stamped envelope for return in case of rejection. 

Do not despair at your rejections. Whatever you write that 
is really good can be sold. Some authors report acceptances after 
twenty or thirty refusals. Therefore, do not consign a manuscript 
to the fire until all possible markets have been tested — and even 
then it is well to lay it aside to be worked over later. 

Beyond this sphere — or perhaps I should have said in the same 
sphere as the better magazines for women — lies the fiction periodicals. 
Success with the short-story usually precedes the novel. But to 



THE POET'S "PIPE" 107 

climb to the heights of literary excellence demanded by the high- 
grade publications, requires hard work — and much of it. Therefore, 
do not be discouraged if recognition comes too slowly. 

And even should you never write a "best seller," the knowledge 
you have gained, and the satisfaction you have gotten from your 
work, will compensate you for your time, even though the checks 
are small and far between. 



The Poet's "Pipe" 

(A Pindaric Ode) 
By George Allan England 
The Poet, he dreamed a dream. 
He thought that the time had come 

When every old line 

That he wrote, went fine 
At a dollar a word, by gum! 
He dreamed that his files were full 
Of orders from magazines, 

And eke that huge wads 

Of opulent scads 
Reposed in his tailored jeans. 
He dreamed that the word "Regret" 
Was stricken from out his road; 

He blissfully dreamed 

The editors screamed: 
"Hurry up with that latest Ode!" 
He dreamed he could lie and smoke, 
Dictating his fancies fair 

To a gumless girl 

With a natural curl 
In her perfectly ratless hair. 
Acceptances, ton by ton, 
Were brought him, by parcel-post. 

No papers so rash 

As to hold back the cash; 
No critics now dared to roast. 
He dreamed of a spindle, full 
Of bills, every one marked "Paid." 

He dreamed with a zest 

He could throw a chest 
Like a gentleman, unafraid. 
The Poet rolled off his back, 
Awoke with a ghastly yell. 

And the word that he said, 

As he leaped out of bed, 
Was upper-case 

H-E-L-L ! 



A Word from the Censor 

By Eakle Phares 

The photoplay writer who has received only rejections for his 
"realistic" scenarios, or his scripts telling a story tinged with "real- 
ism," may learn something of a way to dodge rejections from the 
Censors. Dr. Ellis P. Oberholtzer, of the Pennsylvania State Board 
of Motion Picture Censors, when interviewed by a Pittsburgh Gazette- 
Times reporter, mentioned a few of the reasons why the Board had to 
condemn scripts — and naturally those which would be condemned 
by them would hardly pass the script reader. 

"When it is possible, we always have regard for the art in a film, 
if it has any art in it, and for the story which the writer and the stage 
director are trying to tell. But some things are impossible. We are 
constantly condemning or making cut-outs in white slave and drug 
pictures. Warden McKenty of the Eastern Penitentiary, in Phila- 
delphia, recently said that moving pictures brought more men into 
his prison than any other influence. He can prove it by the state- 
ments of the men themselves. We try to take out of pictures every- 
thing which can give an onlooker a hint or suggestion as to the method 
of committing a crime. Then we also eliminate grewsome and horri- 
ble scenes. " 

Again: "Lately, in talking to some of our inspectors, who see 
films constantly in our projection rooms, I said that one-half of the 
pictures seemed to be under the old dime-novel influence. They 
thought this estimate was too small. Just recently we have ordered 
out of pictures scenes showing men strapped to logs to be minced up 
in moving saw mills, tied to railroad irons in front of moving trains, 
held in traps for wolves to devour, or to be stung by serpents, buried 
alive, etc. Do any of us know ladies who keep revolvers in their 
boudoir table drawers, or carry pistols and knives abroad in their 
blouses for instant use, or men who strike each other and wrestle on 
the floor? I fancy not. Yet disturbance and violence are everywhere 
in film. We have something in our Rules and Standards about 
creating a 'false glamour' and setting up 'false standards of conduct.' 
What numbers of pictures violate this rule!" 

This last paragraph, while being strict in the sense that it places 
another limitation on the imagination of photoplaywrights, is food for 
thought for the photoplaywright who would sell the scripts he writes. 
We could answer Dr. Oberholtzer by saying that no one knew such a 
person as Margot in Maupassant's "Margot's Tapers," but no one 
doubts that such a person might have existed. Dr. Oberholtzer forgets 
that the photoplaywright, as well as the fiction writer, is entitled to 
exaggerate his conditions. Pictures as well as stories would become 
" dry" if they were built only on things and incidents which we know. 
Our own scope of friends and adventures is narrow, it is the dreamer 



MR. GUITERMAN WRITES TO POETS 109 

who gives us our fiction. But since what has been quoted was said by 
a member of a State Censor Board, and it is through him and his 
associates that our work sees, or does not see, the light of day, we 
must keep our conditions and scenes within his restrictions. And 
since the script readers are endeavoring to select scenarios that will 
meet little or no opposition, we can profit by what Dr. Oberholtzer 
has said. 



Mr. Guiterman Writes to Poets 

We rarely fill our pages with reprint material, but now and then 
appears an article so full of meat that those of our readers who have 
not seen it in its original medium ought to read at least the gist of 
the message. Here is a quotation of a quotation. We reprint from 
The Literary Digest for January 29, 1916: 

HOW TO WRITE VERSE AND LIVE 
One of the most deserted places in the world nowadays is the 
poet's garret. There is an even deeper than poetic gloom up 
there in the mansard, and the property crust of bread and wine- 
bottle candlestick reign in silent desolation shrouded in the dust 
of years. For the poet has quit the chimney-pots of Bohemia 
for the flesh-pots of Philistia, and has learned the art of Making 
Verse Pay. Alfred Noyes does it and Walt Mason does it, as 
do Berton Braley, John Masefield, Franklin P. Adams, and 
numbers of others — poets, lyricists, versifiers, and even "vers 
librettists." One of this number is Arthur Guiterman, whose 
bread was formerly won on the staff of Life. His verse varies, 
but the unforgettable title of one characteristic effusion is "The 
Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup." His "Laughing 
Muse," recently published by Harpers, contains a variety of 
proofs that the poet of to-day need not starve. Interviewed by 
Joyce Kilmer for the New York Times, Mr. Guiterman admits 
that there are still a few obstacles in the way of the beginner, 
and agrees that a poet determined to devote the whole of his 
first few years to the composition of an epic might well have 
difficulty in finding sustenance; but on the whole, he insists, 
poetry pays, and he gives as the result of his own experience a 
few hints how to make certain of this : 

I suppose the best thing for the young poet to do would be to write on 
as many subjects as possible, including those of intense interest to himself. 
What interests him intensely is sure to interest others, and the number of 
others whom it interests will depend on how close he is by nature to the 
mind of his place and time. He should get some sort of regular work so 
that he need not depend at first upon the sale of his writings. This work 
need not necessarily be literary in character, altho it would be advisable 
for him to get employment in a magazine or newspaper office, so that he 
may get in touch with the conditions governing the sale of manuscript. 

He should write on themes suggested by the day's news. He should 
write topical verse; if there is a political campaign on he should write verse 



110 MR. GUITERMAN WRITES TO POETS 

bearing upon that; if a great catastrophe occurs, he should write about 
that, but he must not write on these subjects in a commonplace manner. 

He should send his verses to the daily papers, for they are the publica- 
tions most interested in topical verse. But also he should attempt to sell 
his work to the magazines, which pay better prices than the newspapers. 
If it is in him to do so, he should write humorous verse, for there is always 
a good market for humorous verse that is worth printing. He should look 
up the publishers of holiday-cards, and submit to them Christmas, Thanks- 
giving, and Easter verses, for which he would receive, probably, about $5 
apiece. He should write advertising verses, and he should, perhaps, make 
an alliance with some artist with whom he can work, each supplementing 
the work of the other. 

The province of the interviewer is to draw his victim out, 
and then, when he is gaily cavorting in the midst of generalities, 
to plunge into him the harpoon of the interrogative embarrassing. 
Thus it is that Mr. Kilmer takes this moment to ask the busi- 
nesslike poet if he would give such advice as this to Keats. But 
the deadly gaff fails to penetrate. "Yes, certainly," answers 
Mr. Guiterman. and continues: 

Please understand that our hypothetical poet must all the time be doing 
his own work, writing the sort of verse which he specially desires to write. 
If his pot-boiling is honestly done, it will help him with his other work. 

He must study the needs and limitations of the various publications. 
He must recognize the fact that just because he has certain powers it does 
not follow that everything he writes will be desired by the editors. Marked 
ability and market ability are different propositions. 

There is high precedent for this course. You asked if I would give this 
advice to the young Keats. Why not, when Shakespeare himself followed 
the line of action of which I spoke? He began as a lyric poet, a writer of 
sonnets. He wrote plays because he saw that the demand was for plays, 
and because he wanted to make a living and more than a living. But be- 
cause he was Shakespeare his plays are what they are. 

There are at least sixteen commandments for the poet who 
would eke out his existence at verse. They are as follows : 

Don't think of yourself as a poet, and don't dress the part. 

Don't classify yourself as a member of any special school or group. 

Don't call your quarters a garret or a studio. 

Don't frequent exclusively the company of writers. 

Don't think of any class of work that you feel moved to do as either 
beneath you or above you. 

Don't complain of lack of appreciation. (In the long run no really good 
published work can escape appreciation.) 

Don't think you are entitled to any special rights, privileges, and im- 
munities as a literary person, or have any more reason to consider your 
possible lack of fame a grievance against the world than has any shipping- 
clerk or traveling-salesman. 

Don't speak of poetic license or believe that there is any such thing. 

Don't tolerate in your own work any flaws in rhythm, rime, melody, or 
grammar. 

Don't use "e'er" for "ever," "o'er" for "over," "whenas" or "what 
time" for "when," or any of the "poetical" commonplaces of the past. 

Don't say "did go" for "went," even if you need an extra syllable. 

Don't omit articles or prepositions for the sake of the rhythm. 

Don't have your book published at your own expense by any house that 
makes a practice of publishing at the author's expense. 

Don't write poems about unborn babies. 

Don't — don't write hymns to the Great God Pan. He is dead, let him 
rest in peace! 

Don't write what everybody else is writing. 



A Club that is Different 

By M. Pelton White 

A few years ago I joined a writers' club in a western city. No 
social, card, travel, literary, or philosophical club — I've first-hand 
knowledge — can afford half the pleasure and profit derived from 
this sort of organization. 

"How did it start?" I asked a bright-eyed little woman whose 
juveniles are appearing in a dozen different religious publications. 

" Rather a humble beginning," she replied, laughing. "Half 
a dozen matrons in our block had a sewing club. As is usual in such 
cases, we tried to out-do each other in the matter of refreshments. 
Also, our tongues wagged rather freely about neighborhood affairs. 
'Jolly Gossips,' some one suggested as an appropriate name. Down 
in our hearts we were not quite satisfied with our Thursday meetings. 
We all had cooking and sewing enough at home. What we needed 
for recreation was change. 

"One afternoon our hostess read aloud while the rest of us 
worked. The story caused a good deal of discussion. Most of us 
were sure we could write a better one without half trying. The 
up-shot of the matter was that we sharpened our lead pencils and 
filled our waste baskets frequently during the next week. 

"Our failures were laughable, but we had considerable sport 
in the making of them. Discussing them left us no time for gossip 
and sewing, or partaking of refreshments that invariably spoiled 
our appetites for the home dinner afterward." 

"Did your literary attempts leave you time to prepare meals?" 
I twitted slyly. 

The little woman dimpled. "Most of us can find time for a 
couple of hours reading in the evening after the children are in bed. 
We decided to devote that time to the study of the short-story. 

"Great was the rejoicing when one of our members finally landed 
a story in a southern publication. The check of nine dollars was a 
veritable gold nugget. 

"By studying the magazines we discovered that the short-story 
was not the only marketable material. Articles and paragraphs 
on all sorts of subjects were salable. 

"At the end of the first year Mrs. M. was our only member to 
declare that she positively couldn't write anything that would be 
accepted. 'I am as tickled as you are over your successes,' she told 
us, 'and I'll give you a spread now and then to celebrate them if 
you'll only let me come to the club.' 

" 'That's a bargain,' Mrs. B. assured her, 'if you'll make us 
one of your salads now and then. I never ate such delicious salads 
as you make. I wish you'd write the recipes for my niece — you know 
she's to be a June bride? ' 



112 A CLUB THAT IS DIFFERENT 

"Mrs. M. did as requested and the designing Mrs. B. wrote her 
benefactress' name and address in the upper left-hand corner and 
straightway mailed the collection to a woman's magazine. 

"One of the most surprised individuals that ever opened a letter 
was Mrs. M. when an acceptance for salad recipes accompanied by a 
check for three dollars slipped out of an envelope a month later." 

"Tell me where you get your many ideas for little tot stuff," 
I.begged. 

"Mostly from the bosom of my family," she answered mis- 
chievously. "A mother of four never lacks copy. I plan the story 
while dish washing and sweeping, tell it to the kiddies at the bed- 
time hour, and if it is properly received whip it into shape on my 
typewriter during the evening. You know we all saved our first 
earnings for typewriters — most of them second-hand." 

The little woman looked thoughtful for a minute. " I think that 
is about all there is to the 'start.' You know the rest." 

And that? 

The beginning made by the sewing club has grown into a club 
of thirty-odd members, men and women varying in age from twenty- 
one to sixty. The weekly meetings are held in the evening, the first 
and third being devoted to study, the second and fourth to the 
regular program. 

Anyone who is willing to work is eligible for membership to the 
study class. A short-story course is taken each year. Last season 
Dr. Esenwein's text book was used, the year before "The Editor" 
course. The works of Pitkin, Cody, Hamilton, and other writers on 
the short-story have afforded much help to the class. 

The officers of the club are a President, Recording and Manu- 
script Secretaries. The dues of twenty-five cents a year for each 
member are not sufficiently burdensome to make a treasurer neces- 
sary. The sum, however, covers postage, a subscription to a writers' 
magazine, and now and then a reference book for the club's library. 

A candidate for membership must visit one or more meetings 
and submit an original manuscript. A secret committee appointed 
by the President decides upon the desirability of the applicant. If 
the decision is favorable the candidate's name is submitted to the 
vote of the club. 

Four original MSS. and at least two written criticisms are required 
from each member during the year at such times as the MS. Secretary 
designates. If the author wishes a written criticism he must turn 
in his material to the MS. Secretary two weeks before the date for 
reading. The Secretary will send the story to the critic without 
the author's name. After the MS. has been read in club and a "round 
robin" criticism offered, the critic will give the written criticism. 

No matter how severe the criticism may be, the writer feels 
that it is quite impersonal as the Secretary is the only one who knows 
his identity. A list of possible markets is included in the criticism. 

Sales of MSS. are reported at each regular meeting. Each one 
of us feels an ownership in part in the MSS. produced by club mem- 
bers. We've heard them read, made suggestions, criticised them, 



WHERE TO GET YOUR IDEAS FOR PLOTS 113 

and perhaps suggested the right market. Is it any wonder that 
we're elated when they are successfully landed? A sale is a spur to 
the laggard. It gives him a if-he-can-do-it-I-can-too feeling. 

If my memory serves me rightly some one claims the following 
as the three motives for writing: self-culture, mercenary, and the 
exploiting of a pet hobby. All of our club members acknowledge 
themselves benefited by the first motive, many have tasted the 
sweets of the second, and a few are experimenting with the third — 
and be it whispered that usually this class receives checks for small 
sums at very long intervals. 



Where to Get Your Ideas for Plots 

By Glenn H. Harris 

A great many photoplay writers pay considerably more atten- 
tion, to the writing of the scenario than the method of obtaining the 
idea for the outline of the plot. The scenario is emphatically a tech- 
nical proceeding which follows clearly outlined rules in the making. 
But since the scenario is dependent upon the idea for its very exist- 
ence, it may be interesting to examine the best methods for the 
discovery and practical use of ideas. 

Believe me, if you intend to make a little or a great deal of money 
by photoplay writing, you will not find it conclusive to success to sit 
down and wait for inspiration. Your inspiration should already be 
in front of you. In the first place, the more common sources of original 
ideas are the newspaper, the law courts, the office, and private lives. 
In these you find the germs for the best stories ever written, namely, 
those which are real human stories. Take the newspaper, for in- 
stance. In practically any edition one finds material and suggestions 
for a dozen first rate plots. 

Glancing at a paragraph in a paper the other day, I was attracted 
to the heading "The Forgotten Bite." It was only the story of a 
snake charmer who was severely bitten, but so enthusiastic was he 
over his work that he forgot all about the bite and paid the penalty 
with his death. But what a splendid title and what possibilities there 
are in the theme. 

Having scanned your newspaper carefully in the morning, mark 
with a blue pencil the paragraphs that suggest good plots. At the 
end of the day you can cut these out and paste them neatly in a scrap 
book kept for the purpose. If you are of a precise mind, you may 
index your suggestions in a variety of headings, embracing drama, 
comedy, farce, etc. But it may happen when you are on a car that 
ideas for plots present themselves. The best method is to make a 
rough note on a pad for the time, but when you reach home it is 
advisable to enter the idea in a small notebook which you may call 
your "Suggestion Book." This means that when you have a couple 



114 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

of hours to devote to your favorite hobby of plot writing you have 
before you well-stocked books containing the pith of the ideas culled 
from your own experience and observance instead of having to spend 
fifty per cent, of the time in racking your brains for the elusive idea. 



Letters to Young Authors 

FIFTEENTH LETTER 

My dear Friend, 

Thank you for letting me see that charming story. Your writ- 
ings in recent years have been so altogether a la Saturday Evening 
Post that I confess to having forgotten that you could find so much 
joy merely in doing a beautiful thing — a thing of sheer " sweetness 
and light" — with thoughts of making it salable put for the time into 
the background. 

Your story may not sell. Not more than five magazines would 
consider it for more than six minutes, were it not for your growing 
reputation; and each of those five may be so crowded that your 
work may fail to elbow itself in — that is really what selling amounts 
to in these days of much writing. But if it does find acceptance it 
will be because some editor is fine enough to discern that he has 
readers who are as fine as he. Most editors do not believe that of 
their readers, forgetting that there is a time for "pep" and a time 
for pure spirituality. Could it really hurt the reputation of any 
magazine for it now and then to print a thing so delicate, so idealistic 
that it would shock its readers by way of contrast? Persistently 
holding to the same tone is the vice of small editors. Too much 
consistency is monotony. 

But you, my unoffending friend, are not an editor, so why 
should I send this preachment to you! Doubtless I am writing to 
you while "in a mood," as your sister, of lovely memory, used half re- 
proachfully to say. Your story is so unworldly, so innocent of 
astute detectives, and business coups, and the frou frou of petti- 
coats, and illicit whisperings, and breathless dashes along the plot- 
route, that it makes me feel as though some old-time lady of quaint 
charm had come to visit me in my library, smoothed out her heavy 
grey silk with mittened fingers and just smiled a message from long 
ago right into my heart. 

Do you know, no man could write such a story as this to order? 
No man could dream it out and emotionalize it while calculating its 
length and breadth and adaptability to markets. When you wrote 
that story, writing was not a craft, nor even an art— it was self- 
expression. I do not forget that literary self-voicing can never be 
perfect in any of us until in some way we have learned both the art 
and the craft of authorship; really, a story such as this could have 
come from you only after you had served your apprenticeship, 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 115 

learning your tools and how to handle them without thought over- 
much. But what makes me glad for you is that the five or six years 
of writing fiction of plot and intrigue have not left your love of 
beauty starved. 

I know many writers — literally many — who are selling the things 
they love least. Every now and then such a one will forget all market 
requirements and write the sketch, the story, the poem, he wants to 
write. All his heart goes into it. He writes it with tears, with 
laughter, with talkings to himself, with — an inward glow. And when 
it is finished — though it seems never to be really perfect — he reads it; 
and knowing it to be so unlike what his readers have come to expect 
from him, he lays it away against that time when a great name will 
have won a hearing — Heaven pity us all — for a thing that is not 
popular but simply fine! 

I know not how long it will take for popularity to kill fineness; 
sometimes it seems that a very few years is enough; but I do know 
that if you turn sufficiently often to do the thing you love to do, 
quite irrespective of its salability, yet all the while keeping your mind 
alert and your pen pliable by writing the things the great — by which 
I mean merely the large — public can understand, you will by and 
by be ready to mingle force with beauty, directness with subtlety, 
charm with movement, and lead your public to the heights to which 
you have worn a path by your own secret oft-goings. 

There is something fitting in such a course, I think. It is well 
to lay aside unpublished our early ideas of the lovely and the noble. 
After we have won a hearing for ourselves in stories of character- 
crisis, of action, and of entertainment, we shall have sloughed off 
the bombast, so that the sublimated truth we have been cherishing 
and striving to attain and express will at least issue from our hearts 
with no over-adornment of perfervid words but with the enchant- 
ment of its own exquisite essence. 

You must have noticed in the lives of such artists as the elect 
Stevenson that they often turned to verse for self-expression rather 
than for sales. Indeed, I suppose there never was a great prose 
stylist who did not first essay verse. It is an admirable relief for 
those emotional upsurgings which come to all who are called to 
pen-man-ship, to turn the word to an unusual sense. Besides, the 
practice of poetry enriches prose style, cultivates imagery, enlarges 
the vocabulary, and is a safety valve to prevent over-compression 
and too much emotionalism in prose. 

But to go back to my former notion that great writers now and 
then do their best when they discard the idea of immediate salability. 
Lately I have been thinking of a remarkable writer whose work 
reached two quite separate publics. She, I believe, perfectly illus- 
trates this idea. I mean Mile. Louise de la Ramee, "Ouida," an 
Englishwoman of French extraction who was born at Bury St. 
Edmunds in 1840. 

What could be more different in tone and purpose than Ouida's 
melodramatic romances and her short-stories? Contrast " Moths' ' 
with "A Dog of Flanders/' or "Othmar" with "Bimbi," or " Under 



116 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

Two Flags" with "The Niirnberg Stove." There is much pure 
poetry in her romances, and much remarkable reality, but not until 
you lay aside the extravagance and sentimentality of her longer 
work and drink in the exquisite child-spirit shown in her little fictions 
do you find this idealistic writer worthy to sit down at last among 
the great. Grant that her children do speak a lofty language that 
never children spake, is not that true of Shakespeare's child heroes, 
and Homer's and Virgil's too? We allow it in the atmosphere and the 
setting, and, chiefly, to the spirit of high ideality. Realism must 
not set up its standards whereby to judge either the romantic or 
the ideal. 

It has seemed to me that in "The Niirnberg Stove" there is 
both a general and a specific lesson for those who too long subdue 
the expression of the beautiful so that they may come to the market 
place with salable wares. Let them read this little story and feel its 
warmth, so that they too may now and again venture to write as 
simply, as beautifully, in as unworldly a mood, as their true selves 
may permit, forgetting for the time that such things as rejection 
slips exist. Perhaps their "salable" work may profit by such little 
side journeys, and it may even be also, that, by all the time cherish- 
ing the ideal, they may some day do a masterpiece. 

The story of "The Niirnberg Stove" runs like this: In the 
Upper Inn-thai in Austria lived August Strehla, a lad of nine. "His 
mother was dead, his father was poor; and there were many mouths 
at home to feed." Their one possession was a great faience stove, 
the masterpiece of Augustin Hirschvogel of Niirnberg, whose work 
in majolica made his massive stoves famous in every land. 

Things went badly in the Strehla home, due to poverty, but 
little August told all his troubles to his dear Hirschvogel, for to him 
the stove with its twinkling eyes and wondrously decorated sides 
was a friend who was steadfast when even the lad's father was 
cross. It seemed to make no difference to Hirschvogel that in the 
long ago — for the stove bore the date 1532 and the initials H. R. 
H. — it must have belonged to a Highness; over August and 'Gilda 
and Dorothea the gilded lion's claws on which Hirschvogel proudly 
stood exercised a loving protection. 

Imagine, then, the distress of the children when their father, 
Karl Strehla, one day announced that the stove had been sold for 
much-needed money. They were stunned. In vain they protested, 
especially the sturdy August — Hirschvogel must go. 

That night little August slept not at all, but he lay all through 
the darkness by the stove — and formed a plan. 

When at length the time came to move the stove he followed it 
at a distance to the goods train on which with bursting heart he saw 
Hirschvogel loaded. His plan was to follow the stove, but how, he 
did not yet know. So he bought what little food he could and in 
the night managed to enter the car and creep into the very fire box 
of his dear Hirschvogel. There, almost perishing with cold, hunger 
and thirst he remained for days undiscovered, comforted only by 
the thought that at least he lay within the arms of his good old friend. 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 117 

At last Hirschvogel was moved with great care to the shop of 
a dealer in antiques in Munich, and after its purchasers had gloated 
over their bargain — for they had paid only a beggarly sum to the 
wretchedly poor Strehla — they left with the dealer, all was dark and 
quiet, and August was alone, curled up inside of Hirschvogel. 

"After a time he dropped asleep, as children do when they 
weep, and little robust hill-boys most surely do, be they where they 

may Midnight was once more chiming from all the brazen 

tongues of the city when he awoke, and, all being still around him, 
ventured to put his head out of the brass door of the stove to see 

why such a strange light was round him What he saw was 

nothing less than all the bric-a-brac in motion. 

"A big jug, an Apostel-Krug, of Kreusen, was solemnly dancing 
a minuet with a plump Faenza jar; a tall Dutch clock was going 
through a gavotte with a spindle-legged ancient chair; a very droll 
porcelain figure of Littenhausen was bowing to a very stiff soldier 
in terre cuite of Ulm" — all around everything was in movement: 
rare antiques danced, rapiers clashed, clocks chattered, high-backed 
chairs played at cards, dogs, cats and horses of costly ware curveted 
in gay riot. 

Presently the antiques began to talk or dispute, each after his 
nature, and August ventured to put some questions to a lovely little 
princess of Saxe-Royale, all in pink and gold and white, and from 
her he learned — what it takes the rest of us so long to find out in 
life — the difference between imitation and genuine. 

In the midst of all this, Hirschvogel had preserved a dignified but 
tolerant silence, until a Gubbio plate sighed a wish, soon echoed by 
all: "Ah! if we could all go back to our makers I" 

"Then from where the great stove stood there came a solemn 
voice. 

"All eyes turned upon Hirschvogel, and the heart of its little 
human comrade gave a great jump of joy. 

" 'My friends,' said that clear voice from the turret of Niirn- 
berg faience, ' I have listened to all you have said. There is too much 
talking among the Mortalities whom one of themselves has called 
the Windbags. Let not us be like them. I hear among men so much 
vain speech, so much precious breath and precious time wasted in 
empty boasts, foolish anger, useless reiteration, blatant argument, 
ignoble mouthings, that I have learned to deem speech a curse, laid 
on man to weaken and envenom all his undertakings. For over two 
hundred years I have never spoken myself: you, I hear, are not so 
reticent. I only speak now because one of you said a beautiful thing 
that touched me. If we all might go back to our makers! Ah, yes! 
if we might! We were made in days when even men were true 
creatures, and so we, the work of their hands, were true too. We, 
the begotten of ancient days, derive all the value in us from the fact 
that our makers wrought at us with zeal, with piety, with integrity, 
with faith, — not to win fortunes or to glut a market, but to do nobly 
an honest thing and create for the honour of the Arts and God. I 
see amidst you a little human thing who loves me, and in his own 



118 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

ignorant childish way loves Art. Now, I want him forever to remem- 
ber this night and these words; to remember that we are what we 
are, and precious in the eyes of the world, because centuries ago 
those who were of single mind and of pure hand so created us, scorn- 
ing sham and haste and counterfeit. Well do I recollect my master, 
Augustin Hirschvogel. He led a wise and blameless life, and wrought 
in loyalty and love, and made his time beautiful thereby, like one 
of his own rich, many-coloured church casements, that told holy 
tales as the sun streamed through them. Ah, yes, my friends, to 
go back to our masters! — that would be the best that could befall us. 
But they are gone, and even the perishable labours of their lives out- 
live them. For many, many years I, once honoured of emperors, 
dwelt in a humble house and warmed in successive winters three 
generations of little, cold, hungry children. When I warmed them 
they forgot that they were hungry; they laughed and told tales, 
and slept at last about my feet. Then I knew that humble as has 
become my lot it was one that my master would have wished for me, 
and I was content. Sometimes a tired woman would creep up to me, 
and smile because she was near me, and point out my golden crown 
or my ruddy fruit to a baby in her arms. That was better than to 
stand in a great hall of a great city, cold and empty, even though 
wise men came to gaze and throngs of fools gaped, passing with 
flattering words. Where I go now I know not; but since I go from 
that humble house where they loved me, I shall be sad and alone. 
They pass so soon, — those fleeting mortal lives! Only we endure, — 
we, the things that the human brain creates. We can but bless them 
a little as they glide by: if we have done that, we have done what 
our masters wished. So in us our masters, being dead, yet may 
speak and live.' 

"Then the voice sank away in silence, and a strange golden 
light that had shone on the great stove faded away ; so also the light 
died down in the silver candelabra. A soft, pathetic melody stole 
gently through the room. It came from the old, old spinnet that was 
covered with the faded roses. 

"Then that sad, sighing music of a bygone day died too; the 
clocks of the city struck six of the morning; day was rising over the 
Bayerischenwald. August awoke with a great start, and found him- 
self lying on the bare bricks of the floor of the chamber, and all the 
bric-a-brac was lying quite still all around. The pretty Lady of 
Meisen was motionless on her procelain bracket, and the little 
Saxe poodle was quiet at her side." 

The rest is soon told. Creeping again into the heart of his 
wonderful old friend Hirschvogel, August awaited the coming of 
the Munich traders, who took the stove to the Bavarian king. And 
there the king found the lad, questioned him kindly, rendered justice 
to Karl Strehla by giving him the great price which the king was to 
pay the crafty dealers for Hirschvogel, and little August was given 
his chance to do the thing he longed most to do — learn to be a painter. 

"And August never goes home without going into the great 
church and saying his thanks to God, who blessed his strange winter's 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 119 

journey in the Nurnberg stove. As for his dream in the dealers' 
room that night, he will never admit that he did dream it; he still 
declares he saw it all, and heard the voice of Hirschvogel. And who 
shall say that he did not? for what is the gift of the poet and the 
artist except to see the sights which others cannot see and to hear 
the sounds that others cannot hear?" 

For me to add more, my dear friend, were to profane a shrine. 

Faithfully yours, 

Karl von Kraft. 



Help for Song Writers 

Hints for the Beginner 
By E. M. Wickes 

In a recent issue of The New York Clipper, Leo. Feist, Inc., 
advertised a new song entitled, " Don't Bite The Hand That's Feed- 
ing You." The lyric was written by Thomas Hoier, and the melody 
by Jimmie Morgan. Underneath the song lyric appears the fol- 
lowing: 

AN OVERNIGHT SENSATION 

"Some title! Some lyric! and, then besides all that, some 
melody! Written by two young fellows that no one ever heard of. 
That makes it all the more interesting. It proves that any one, no 
matter how obscure, can jump into the limelight instantly!" 

An announcement of this nature coming from the most success- 
ful popular song publisher of the present time should be encouraging 
to the skeptical novices who are confident that no one but a staff 
writer has any chance today. It is cogent proof that when a new 
writer offers something that appeals to a publisher he will receive 
a hearing and an opportunity to get started, regardless of the staff 
writer under contract. And Leo. Feist is not the only big publisher 
who is always willing to risk his money on songs by new writers. 

In the same issue of the Clipper, Feist advertised another song 
called "M-O-T-H-E-R." The lyric is the work of a newcomer in 
the song writing profession, and Feist is giving the song all the 
publicity possible, for he really believes that he has another "I 
Didn't Raise My Boy To Be A Soldier" in it; but whether he has 
or not, time will tell. 

Beneath the song there is a little food for thought on the part 
of tyros. A year ago, the writers of the "Tulip and The Rose" 
turned in a "mother" song. Feist issued it, but apparently made no 
effort to popularize it. And now he takes a "mother" song by a new 
writer and prepares to expend thousands of dollars on its exploita- 
tion, which would indicate that there is a chance for the beginner, 
provided he can produce the kind of material that publishers think 
will appeal to the public. 



120 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

The majority of those who have not seen their names on title 
pages are too easily discouraged by a few rejection slips. A rejection 
slip from a publisher simply means that he does not care for your 
song, and his refusal to purchase should not worry the author in the 
least. Approximately every publisher in the business has at some 
time in his career " turned down" a hit. Only the other day I was 
told of how one publisher laughed at the suggestion that he buy up 
the American rights of "Tipperary," a song that sold over one 
million copies in this country. 

Some persons have no innate ability to write songs, and others 
are not sufficiently analytical or clever to manufacture them. Song 
writing is an art and a knack combined. One learns the art, or the 
art is born within him, and the other learns the knack. During the 
early part of 1913 I met "John Doe," a young man under eighteen, 
whose ambition was to become a popular song writer. Doe did not 
have the best idea as to what constitutes a popular song lyric, and 
his early work did not manifest any real ability. He selected ancient 
themes, antiquated meters, and his diction was crude and unmusical. 
But all the ridicule and rejection slips in the world could not dampen 
his ardor nor weaken his confidence in his ultimate success. 

He read everything he could lay his hands on pertaining to 
popular song writing ; he studied the theatrical papers and the lyrics 
of those who had arrived. He was ever ready to miss his luncheon 
or forego some pleasure if he saw a chance to acquire some new data 
on song writing, and he accepted biting criticism on his work with a 
thankful smile. 

The other day he dropped into my office and showed me royalty 
contracts for five songs from real-honest-to-goodness publishers, 
and records of six outright sales. He has not made a fortune, and he 
has not attainted a reputation, but some day he will enjoy both. 

At the present time there appears to be a wave of mother songs 
rolling from coast to coast, and as a result of this musical inundation 
hundreds of inexperienced writers will permit their thoughts to be 
carried away by the parental stream Hundreds, possibly thousands, 
of mother songs will be written by novices, and not more than one 
out of a hundred will have a chance to be heard. Mother songs have 
already become a drug on the market, and the public does not dis- 
play any avidity in decorating pianos with them. In one theatre 
the audience groaned when a performer started to sing a new mother 
song. Two acts on the bill prior to his appearance had also used 
mother songs! Unless you can unearth a wonderful idea for a mother 
song you will do well to shun that sort now. In many publishers' 
offices the word " mother" elicits a laugh — commercially speaking, 
of course. 

What the public and publishers would welcome now is some 
clean novelty song, be it love, philosophical or descriptive. There 
should be room for a good juvenile song, white or colored, provided 
the lyric carried a heart interest story. It is some time since there 
was a juvenile hit, and if some new writer could produce one he would 
not have much difficulty in finding a profitable market. 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 121 

Just where the average new writer obtains his information 
relative to the writing; of song lyrics is rather difficult to say. His 
work seldom shows traces of forethought, care, or coherence. He 
selects a title — then while writing his lyric entirely forgets the title. 
And if he did not write the word " chorus" above what he intends 
to be the chorus, a reader would not be able to tell his chorus from 
his verse. One would be inclined to believe that he never took the 
trouble to examine the lyrics of popular songs, and how he expects 
to meet with success without so doing is another mystery to a normal 
mind. The title of a song should appear at least once in the chorus, 
and the best method to follow is to have the title begin and end the 
chorus. The title in the chorus gives the latter individuality, and its 
repetition tends to make a deeper impression on those who hear the 
song. And when you write a chorus, write about things that have 
a direct bearing on the underlying idea in the title, for the chorus is, 
or should be, the developed title idea. If your title or title idea has 
to do with a girl, write about the girl herself — keep her in your story. 
Do not subordinate her to some uninteresting piece of scenery. 
Use scenery and environment only when it will lend charm to your 
story. 

When you write about your sweetheart or about some one else's 
sweetheart, it is not essential for the success of the song that you 
record the history of her life; and you do not have to offer the 
biography of her father and mother. If you cannot discover an 
opening clause with more freshness than "It was on a summer 
day I met her," and the like, quit trying to write and turn your hand 
to something for which you are better suited. Indicate time and 
place when they are necessary, but use a line instead of an entire 
verse. Plunge into the story in a conversational tone, as if you were 
telling the tale to come confidential friend. Use short, easy-singing 
words — words that can be correctly interpreted by a school girl. 
The dictionary is filled with them, even if your own vocabulary is 
not — and it should be if you hope to become a successful lyric writer. 

Another important thing for the novice to bear in mind is that 
a music composer does not write music for the second verse. Very 
often he never sees the second verse until the song has been printed. 
This fact should make it obvious to any intelligent person that unless 
both verses are exactly alike in meter and rhythm, the second verse 
will not fit the melody. Neither should you expect the melody 
writer to turn out a snappy melody when you give him a lyric whose 
rhythm and meter are better suited to a funeral march. The melody 
writer follows out to a great extent your rhythmical measure — in 
fact, it might be said that he is practically forced to do so, unless he 
sees fit to take the time and trouble to alter the lyric. 

In writing a simple popular song do not introduce all the figura- 
tive language at your command, unless the figures of speech are 
strikingly in keeping with the central idea. Make each line say some- 
thing definite, and do not exhibit your knowledge of versification by 
employing run-on lines — lines that carry over the ending of the 
phrase to the next line. Make each line a complete phrase. To 



122 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

appeal, a popular song line must be capable of being understood by 
a primitive mind the instant it is released from the singer's lips. A 
person listening to a song has neither time nor inclination to go back 
to re-read a line whose meaning was not perfectly clear, which is 
possible in the reading of poetry. 

Do not use asinine transpositions, such as, "I could not to him 
say good by." Reconstruct the clause or phrase, and if you cannot 
obtain the proper rhyme, recast the line whose rhyme has been 
broken. Here is where labor on a lyric will prove profitable. 

For the benefit of melody writers who lose heart when their 
early melodies are condemned by failings to find a market, I want to 
say that a poor melody is often no reflection on a composer's ability. 
A poorly written lyric does show either lack of ability or carelessness 
on the part of the lyrist, but this rule does not apply so fully to the 
composer. A lyric writer expresses himself according to his fund of 
words and ideas. He uses words, and they are tangible. He can 
pick and alter at will — change a line a dozen times and still say the 
same thing. The reading of some one else's work will suggest a way 
for him to express something he has in his mind. He is able to go 
after his material, whereas the melody writer has to wait until the 
muse comes to him. And if he is setting to music a lyric written 
by another, he is limited by the lyric. With all his thought and effort, 
a poor musical setting may be the best that will suggest itself, and 
if this should prove to be the case the composer cannot do anything 
but wait until the muse becomes more charitable. 

The writing of melodies that will please the public is a hit-and- 
miss affair. One well-known writer maintains that every composer 
has within him a certain number of good melodies and a certain 
number of poor ones, and the safest way to do is to write constantly. 
Perhaps a good melody will not come until five or six poor ones have 
been turned out, and if a man grows discouraged after having written 
three he will never know of the good melody that lies dormant 
within him waiting for its turn to be called forth. New melody 
writers frequently make the mistake of being too easily satisfied. 
They accept the first melody that fits the lyric, never dreaming that 
they might be able to write another for the same lyric that would 
eventually become a hit. Experienced writers do not rush matters 
like the new writer. As soon as the beginner has finished a song he 
immediately mails it to a publisher. Very often he tries it out on 
his friends, and the friends' comments, which are always favorable, 
strenghten his opinion that he has a hit. The veteran writer usually 
puts his song aside for a few weeks, feeling confident that as the 
days pass he will be able to see room for improvement. 

Frequently subscribers write in asking if there is such a thing 
as an honest publisher in the country. There are dozens of honest 
publishers, and there are some dishonest — dishonest in the sense that 
they lead writers ito believe that they can accomplish wonders, 
which they cannot. Leo. Feist, Pat Howley, Jos. W. Stern, & Co., 



COUNSEL FOR AUTHORS 123 

M. Witmark & Son, Hamilton S. Gordon, Harry Von Tilzer, Broad- 
way Music Co. — all of New York — and many other popular song 
publishers, are perfectly honest, but they do not make a practice of 
advertising for song poems. They read what is offered to them and 
if they like the songs, they offer to purchase or publish on a royalty 
and agree to stand all expense. Few honest publishers can afford 
to pay more than one cent a copy royalty, which is divided when 
two or more persons have a hand in the writing of the song. 

Some of the high class publishers will issue a song at the author's 
expense, but they do not make a practice of soliciting this sort of 
work, and the songs must be up to a certain standard before they will 
have anything to do with them. 



Counsel for Authors 

By Karl von Kraft 

Impropper spelling mars many a good page. 

Cut the slang business, it sounds punk. 

Too much, punctuation, is worse than none, at all. 

It is a very bad practice to use italics frequently. 

It is bad form to needlessly split an infinitive. 

Sesquepedalian verbiage should be relegated to the paleolithic 
era. 

A preposition is usually an awkward word to end a sentence 
with. 

Long, experienced authors use a hyphen to connect compound 
words. 

A modifying phrase misplaced by the reader is often misunder- 
stood. 

The use of needless words is not only wasteful but also un- 
necessary as well. 

Quotations to memory dear are more honored in the breach 
than in the observance. 

Alas! readers are often bored by the sight of many exclamation 
points in the modern magazine! 

Many writers seem to regard a foreign bon mot as a piece de 
resistance, when really it is de trop. 

Never give advice to writers; they make their living by giving 
advice to others. 



Beautiful it is to understand and know that a Thought did never 
yet die: that, as thou, the originator thereof, hast gathered it and 
created it from the whole Past, so thou wilt transmit it to the whole 
Future. — Thomas Carlyle. 




By Arthur Leeds 

Lately Editor of Scripts, Thomas A. Edison Co., Inc.; Author of Writing the Photoplay; 
Member of The Ed-Au Club, Society of American Dramatists and Composers, Etc. 



Script writers have long been indebted to the Moving Picture 
World for giving them Mr. Epes Winthrop Sargent's excellent depart- 
ment, "The Photoplaywright. " Undoubtedly there are many hun- 
dreds of writers who would buy the World each week if only to get the 
help and information contained in that one department. In the same 
way, a great many writers used to buy the Motion Picture News to 
be able to read Mr. William Lord Wright's "For Those Who Worry 
O'er Plots and Plays" department. When "Bill" transferred his 
allegiance to the Dramatic Mirror, he took most of his readers with 
him, and for a short time, while the News under its new management 
was getting on its feet, there was comparatively little in it to interest 
the photoplay author, since the trade news it contained was practically 
duplicated in the World. But Mr. William A. Johnston, the present 
editor of the News, is in every sense of the word a "live wire, " and a 
man of sound common sense and artistic judgment. I have, during 
the past few months, quoted in this department portions of his edi- 
torials, which had special bearing on the script writing game. His 
editorial observations are invariably interesting and informative, 
and he undoubtedly stands for the best interests of the motion picture. 
For that reason, and because each week's issue now contains so much 
that is good in connection with "the story, " I urge all earnest photo- 
playwrights who are not already subscribers to get acquainted with 
the Motion Picture News. In this connection, I want to speak of Mr. 
Johnston's editorial in the issue of January 15, "Just a Story," in 
which he speaks of having witnessed and being held spellbound by a 
photoplay that was as far removed from some of the so-called "fea- 
tures," as could well be imagined. After seeing it, he explains, he 
was interested enough to find out how the story was obtained — for 
the whole picture, although excellent in every way, was an example of 
how "just a good story" can hold the attention of an audience. "It 
was the work, " he says, "of three men: a director who takes his work 
seriously and who evidently regards the motion picture not as a beaten 
path but as a new art worth working for; a newspaper man who 
knows how to set forth a story; and a studio manager, who has a 
grip upon his craft from every angle. Let us credit the efforts of all 
three. The point is that each has an abiding belief that the story is 



THINKS AND THINGS 125 

the first essential to a successful picture." Mr. Johnston adds that 
the three men who put the story together were especially delighted 
over the fact that they had been given sufficient time in which to 
work it out properly before starting production, "which preparation, " 
he concludes, "is essential to any picture with a good story. You can- 
not expect much from a story which is written overnight, because the 
salary of an expensive star begins the following morning; nor from the 
story of a picture rushed along to catch a release; nor from a picture 
padded out to make footage. These fatal mistakes have been made 
partly because the story has been considered inconsequential, and 
partly because of too hasty organization and a good deal of insincere 
production. " AH of which, I say again, is excellent sense and a good 
example of the trenchant way in which this very able editor writes. 

Most photoplaywrights feel that the. day has passed when they 
need hesitate to say, with pride, that they are photoplaywrights. The 
earnest and hard-working scenario writer can now feel that he is a 
member of just as distinct and worthy a profession as is the novelist, 
the poet, or the dramatist. But does the fact that — barring an 
occasional re-issue, such as is being done with some of the old Griffith 
Biographs — your play will only be seen for a comparatively short 
time on the screen cause you to leave out any of the "soul stuff" that 
might, if it were a novel or a legitimate drama, make it live — even, 
perhaps, live after you? If you do, and if you are not giving your 
work — your screen story — the very best you have to give, you are 
building a reputation which must inevitably be but transitory and, 
rightly considered, fruitless. The writers whose names are remem- 
bered are the ones who write because they have a message, who write 
because they feel that they must write, and who put into everything 
they write something of themselves — of their better selves. One 
Sunday afternoon last month I sat in the Hudson Theatre, here in 
New York, as one of several hundred who were attending a memorial 
to the late Charles Klein, who, with Charles Frohman and other 
notable men of the theatrical and literary professions, perished on the 
ill-fated Lusitania. Mr. Augustus Thomas presided, and beside 
him on the stage sat John Philip Sousa, Percy Mackaye, William 
Courtleigh, Margaret Mayo, Daniel Frohman, Howard Kyle and 
J. I. C. Clarke. Not far from me sat John Drew, Arthur Byron, 
Channing Pollock, Bayard Veiller and scores of other notables of the 
theatre, all gathered together to pay tribute to the memory of a 
big little man who, starting out as a rather indifferent actor, found his 
life work in the dramatist's profession, and having found his work, 
went at it cheerfully and with a purpose, putting into it the stuff that 
has caused millions of people all over the world to laugh and cry with 
him. His plays, "The Lion and the Mouse," "The Music Master," 
"The Third Degree," "The Daughters of Men," and twenty-nine 
others — a notable list — stand as monuments to the memory of a man 
who worked hard and faithfully in the face of serious handicaps, and 
whose own big-hearted optimism and desire to help his fellow-men is 
apparent in every line he ever wrote. In a day when so many writers 
are working only for the checks they receive, it is well to keep in mind 



126 THINKS AND THINGS 

the example of this man who worked constantly for the betterment of 
those about him. As the Sanscrit poem has it: 

He only does not live in vain 

Who all the means within his reach 

Employs — his wealth, his thought, his speech — 

To advance the weal of other men. 

Filth in literature, fictional or dramatic, seldom pays, for which 
let us all be truly thankful. A certain British producer of comedy 
films put out a burlesque on Mrs. Elinor Glyn's novel, " Three Weeks, " 
— a story which, it will be remembered, had most of the " broadness" 
of the " Decameron" with none of Boccaccio's artistic literary 
methods. The picture, called "Pimple's Three Weeks — Without the 
Option, " was released in England following the showing in London of 
the New York-made feature-picture founded on Mrs. Glyn's book. To 
say that Mrs. Glyn was " peeved" is putting it mildly. She at once 
instituted a suit for damages, etc., and attempted to have the bur- 
lesque production " put out of business. " Mrs. Glyn's claim has been 
finally disposed of in Chancery Court by Judge Younger, who handed 
out some good, plain truths about "red light" novels and pictures. 
"In his decision," remarks the Moving Picture World's London 
correspondent, "the judge said, 'the novel, which was published in 
1907, was fortunate enough to be condemned by all reviewers and 
banned by all libraries, and to give it novelty its episodes were 
absurd. The film burlesque is frankly farcical and vulgar to an almost 
inconceivable degree. The episodes in the book are grossly immoral, 
with a tendency to elaborate incidents of adultery and intrigue and, 
in my opinion, copyright cannot exist in works so grossly immoral as 
this.' The action, which is not without its moral to aspiring producers 
of literary notorieties, was therefore dismissed." The unkind though 
well-deserved criticisms which are being handed out to some recently 
produced plays, the closing, "on the road," of other questionable 
dramatic attractions, the unvarnished critical slams handed out to 
salacious films by most of the reviewers, and the fact that some of the 
magazines which had turned to a policy of "frankness" have gone 
back to their old policy of clean, though out-of-the-ordinary stories, 
would seem to indicate that today plays and books on the order of 
"Three Weeks" have almost as good a chance, as Channing Pollock 
recently remarked, "as a dog with tallow legs chasing an asbestos cat 
through Hades." 

Doubtless the producing firms have their own good and substan- 
tial reasons for putting on adaptations of well-known novels and 
plays and giving them, in their screen forms, entirely new names, but 
I, for one, cannot see the advisability of it. I am very fond of Robert 
Hichens' novel, "The Garden of Allah," and would like to see a 
really well-made adaptation of it, but unless the fact of the alteration 
in the title were made plain on the announcements shown in front of 
the theatres, or in the trade papers, I would probably never go to see 
such an adaptation if it were produced under the title of "The Lure of 



THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 127 

the Desert, " or something like that. Even when it is stated that such- 
and-such a screen story is " based on" a well-known novel by a popu- 
lar author, the plan does not seem advisable, although, I repeat, the 
producers doubtless know their own business better than do the 
theatre patrons. World Film is about to release a picture called, 
" Life's Whirlpool," featuring Holbrook Blinn. In very small print 
in the trade paper advertisement of it, we learn that this is really a 
screen version of Frank Norris's novel, "McTeague. " When the 
World Corporation first announced that they were about to put on 
the Norris novel, I was much interested, since the book made an 
impression upon me when I read it some years ago. But I might — and 
others who do not read the trade papers or pay much attention to the 
theatre advertising probably will — pass by the house that was 
showing "Life's Whirlpool" and never even dream that inside was 
being presented an interesting screen version of Norris's " McTeague. " 
On the other hand, the same firm puts out an adaptation of Clyde 
Fitch's play, "The City," giving it its proper title, and here, where 
it is not so much needed, since nine out of ten people seeing the title 
"The City," would take it for granted that it was a screen version of 
Fitch's play, the author's name is given in type just as large as the 
title of the play itself. I have even heard prominent theatrical men 
and literary agents say that, after paying big money for the motion 
picture rights to some of these famous books and plays, the manu- 
facturers, as it would seem, deliberately do things that detract from, 
rather than add to, the drawing power of the film. I am not denying 
that, to most people, "Life's Whirlpool" is a more attractive title 
than "McTeague," but surely the thousands of people who read the 
book and are familiar with the original title should be taken into 
consideration. 



The Writer's Magazine Guide 

Compiled by Anne Scannell O'Neill 

FICTION 

"What is a Novel?" A Symposium by James Lane Allen, R. W. 
Chambers, Coningsby Dawson, Margaret Deland, Rupert 
Hughes, Kathleen Norris, and other novelists, Bookman, Feb., 
1916. 

"The Right Use of Books," Laura Spencer Porter, Woman's Home 
Companion, Feb., 1916. 

"A Spanish Estimate of Kipling," W..Jonius, Bookman, Feb., 1916. 

"The Advance of the English Novel," William Lyon Phelps, Book- 
man, Feb., 1916. 

"The Catholic View in Modern Fiction," May Bateman, Catholic 
World, Feb., 1916. 

"Treasure Island," Grace Humphrey, St. Nicholas, Feb., 1916. 



128 THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 

"Horace: An Appreciation," Charles Newton Smiley, Educational 

Review, Feb., 1916. 
" Foreign Fiction," The American Review of Reviews, Feb., 1916. 
" Concerning the Modern Short-Story," Simon A. Baldus, Extension 

Magazine, Feb., 1916. 
"Making Money," Owen Johnson's Own Chapter, Everybody's, 

Feb., 1916. 
"The Short Stories of a Year," Edward J. O'Brien, Literary Digest, 

Feb. 12, 1916. 
"Frank Harris: His Book," Michael Monahan, Forum, Feb., 1916. 
"Guide to the Latest Books," Bookman, Feb., 1916. 
"The New York of the Novelists," VI, Arthur Bartlett Maurice, 

Bookman, Feb., 1916. 

POETRY 

"London Recollections of Lowell," E. S. Nadal, Harper's, Feb., 1916. 
"Lionel Johnson," Joyce Kilmer, Catholic World, Feb., 1916. 
"Stephen Phillips," Edith Wyatt, North American Review, Feb., 

1916. 
"Poetic Drama and the War," Israel Zangwill, Poetry Review, Jan.- 

Feb., 1916. 
"Young English Poets," Ruth Shephard Phelps, Mid-West Quarterly, 

Jan., 1916. 

DRAMA 

"Dramatic Criticism," George Jean Nathan, Smart Set, March, 1916. 
"The Painted Heart of an Actress," William De Wagstaffe, The 

Theater, Feb., 1916. 
"Great Acting," Walter Prichard Eaton, American, Feb., 1916. 
"My Remembrances," E. H. Sothern, Scribners, Feb., 1916. 
"True Chronicles of an Unknown Playwright," Dramatic Mirror, 

Feb., 5, 12, 1916. 

PHOTOPLAY 

"The Development and Evolution of the Silent Drama," Adolph 

Zukor, Dramatic Mirror, Feb. 5, 1916. 
"How I Filmed the Bombardment of Przemysel," Allen Everets. 

Motion Picture, Feb., 1916. 
"Where the Big Plums are Falling," Robert Grau, Motion Picture, 

Feb., 1916. 
"On the New Rialto," Charles K. Field, Sunset, Feb., 1916. 
"Trying out for the Movies," Richard Savage, The Theater, Feb., 

1916. 
"Making a Scene," Louis Reeves Harrison, Moving Picture World, 

Feb. 12, 1916. 
"Training Wild Animals for the Movies," Ethel Morris, American 

Boy, Feb., 1916. 

GENERAL ARTICLES 

"Words and Their Uses," Emma M. Bolenius, McCalVs, March, 
1916. 



H. C. S. FOLKS 129 

"A War Correspondents' Village/' Arthur Ruhl, Collier's, Feb. 5, 

1916. 
"Newspaper Special Editions," Jacob Carlton, Printer's Ink, Feb. 3, 

1916. 
"What is English?," C. H. Ward, Educational Review, Feb., 1916. 
"The Environment and Education," I. W. Howerth, Educational 

Review, Feb., 1916. 
"Audiences," Victor Murdock, Collier's, Feb. 5, 1916. 
"Criticism and the Comic Spirit," G. R. Macminn, Mid-West 

Quarterly, Jan. 1916. 
" Pre-Raphaelitism and its Literary Relations," Benjamin Brawley, 

South Atlantic Quarterly, Jan., 1916. 
"A Gossip on Criticism," Edward Garnett, Atlantic Monthly, Feb., 

1916. 
"Girls, Boys, and Story-Telling," George Malcolm Stratton, Atlantic 

Monthly, Feb., 1916. 



H. C. S. Folks 



Patrons and students are invited to give information of their published or produced material; 
or of important literary activities. Mere news of acceptances cannot be printed — give dates, 
titles and periodicals, time and place of dramatic production, or names of book publishers. 

Harry Moore, editor of The Free Press, Alvinston, Canada, 
has a short-story, "Hockey at Iron Cliff," in the January number of 
Canada Monthly. 

Idwald Jones, Quartz, Cal., has had three short-stories published 
in recent issues of the Los Angeles Times. 

Mrs. Frances M. Dean, Brookline, Mass., has a delightful story 
entitled "Passive Resistance," in the February issue of The Cape 
Cod Magazine. 

The February number of Book News Monthly has an interesting 
page article about the Graysonians, the movement among nature 
lovers headed by Mrs. Neal Wyatt Chapline, of Sarasota, Fla., who 
has long been a careful and enthusiastic reader of the writings of 
David Grayson. Mrs. Chapline's message to new members is given 
in full, and is worthy the attention of every lover of nature. 

J. A. Macmillan, who recently accepted the post of secretary 
of the Glasgow United Y. M. C. A., after a residence of several years 
in Spain, has been adding to his income by contributing studies of 
Spanish life to the British press. 

Harold Playter, Los Angeles, Cal., has won two prizes in the 
"Ad Letter Contest," conducted by the Sunset Magazine. The 
latest is published in the February issue. It is entitled, "Old Dutch 
Cleanser." The two prizes aggregated $60 and Mr. Playter was the 
only contestant to receive two prizes in a single year. 



130 H. C. S. FOLKS 

M. N. Bunker, Dean of the Department of Commerce, Atlanta 
Normal, Colby, Kansas, has an informing article entitled "The 
Psychology of Speed and Accuracy in Typewriting," in The American 
Penman for December. In The Household Guest for February, 
Mr. Bunker has a well conceived short-story entitled " Annette's 
History Lesson." 

Dr. William P. Brooks, Director of the Agricultural Experiment 
Station, Amherst, Mass., has recently issued a bulletin on "Phos- 
phates in Massachusetts: Their Importance, Selection and Use," 
which has been reprinted and 26,000 copies distributed by various 
agencies interested in soil improvement. 

"Forgotten Books of the American Nursery" by Rosalie V. 
Halsey, of Princeton, N. J., occupies a field hitherto unexplored and 
promises to become the standard book for students of the American 
juvenile literature of the past. 

"Teaching Literature in the Grammar Grades and High School" 
by Emma Miller Bolenius of Lancaster, Pa., recently published by 
Houghton, Mifflin Company, Boston, is receiving high praise from 
reviewers in the educational journals. 

Mrs. Sally Nelson Robins, Richmond, Va., has a new novel in 
the Lippincott's list for the late winter. It is entitled "A Man's 
Reach." It is a story of deep human interest, the scenes of which 
are laid in Virginia, and in its first week broke into the list of "six 
best sellers." 

Mr. Lucius E. Wilson, East Dorset, Vt., is doing remarkable 
work in the service of good government by addressing various trade 
bodies throughout the United States. He was formerly secretary of 
the Greater Des Moines Committee and the Detroit Board of Com- 
merce, and has organized nearly fifty boards of trade in this country 
during the past twelve years. 

Governor Arthur Capper, Topeka, Kans., has a most interesting 
article under the title, "The State of Kansas," in the February issue 
of The Fra. 

C. L. Gilman, Gheen, Minn., has been living in a tent-shack 
while gathering material for outdoor periodicals. His work is appear- 
ing frequently in Outing, Arms and the Man, Recreation, Field and 
Stream, and other periodicals of outdoor life. He is also contributing 
material for many magazines of a special character, such as The 
Sporting Goods Dealer, in which he has an article on "Snow Shoes, 
How to Use and Sell Them," in the December issue. 

Mrs. Cora B. Pierce, Newtown, Ct., has a story entitled "Leo- 
pard's Tongue Finds the Old One" in the World-Wide, for January. 



Contributions to this department are solicited. Paragraphs must be brief and the material 
based not on theory but on experience in any branch of pencraft. Mutual helpfulness and a wide 
range of subjects are the standards we have set for Experience Meeting. 

Quite by accident I discovered this method, which costs nothing, 
for renewing carbon paper. Hold the used carbon paper up to a 
lighted lamp, taking care not to get it close enough to scorch the 
paper. The heat will cause the carbon to spread over the parts that 
are bare, leaving the sheet as good as new. The same sheet may be 
renewed a number of times. — Edith Heighton. 

It is a hard matter to send photographs through the mails so 
that they will not be broken, unless several thicknesses of paste- 
board are used, and this of necessity increases the postage required. 
One way which came to my notice served its purpose beautifully 
and saved considerable postage. Two pieces of pasteboard — not 
very heavy — were cut quite a little larger than the photo and stitched 
on both sides and one end on the sewing machine. One end was left 
unsewed and the photo slipped into it, making a regular, neat, 
inexpensive case. The pictures reach their destination without 
being in the least soiled or broken. To one mailing many photo- 
graphs the saving will be evident. 

— Minnie M. Mills. 

When I first began to write I made it a habit, while reading stories 
in magazines, to jot down in my note book all uncommon sentences 
that I came across. The little game became so very interesting that 
I bought an inexpensive loose-leaf note book in which to write them 
carefully. Soon having sentences under many different headings, 
I decided to do it systematically. For an example, I wrote the word 
HEART at the top of three pages, and all sentences I found per- 
taining to that very important organ, I wrote down on one of the 
three. When these were filled I added more pages, the beauty of the 
loose-leaf system. The same way I did with the words eyes, nose, 
mouth, hair — hate, love, anger — flowers, fields, trees — moon, sun, etc. 
I started by giving each three pages, and added more pages when 
necessary. 

By doing this I have gained some valuable knowledge, and even 
now I collect such sentences, for the habit has grown upon me. It 
broadened my mind, and made me think uncommon sentences for 
myself. Try it, and you will find it a pleasant game, as well as very 
helpful . — M ary^L.|Irel and . 




Timely, terse, reliable, and good-natured contributions to this department will be wel- 
come. Every detail of each item should be carefully verified. Criticisms based on matters of 
opinion or taste cannot be admitted, but only points of accuracy or correctness. 



In the sentence, " Physics can answer whence goes the candle 
flame when it vanishes into blackness ..." ("Sob Sister," by 
Fannie Hurst, in Metropolitan February, 1916), whence is certainly 
misemployed, as the word connotes direction from. — C. M. 

Some authors have the habit of using the same word over and 
over to express forms of speech. See, for example, "One of Fame's 
Little Days," by Eleanor H. Abbott, Pictorial Review, July, 1915. 
In the first chapter, "He" or "She" or Someone "persisted" thirteen 
times. "He stammered," or "stammered Hallis," is used eleven 
times; besides, the Girl did some stammering, too. "Protested the 
Girl," or the "Newspaper Woman," appears seven times, while 
Hallis also did some protesting. "Grinned" is used seven times to 
accompany some form of speech. — Lena C. Ahlers. 

"Grippe," by Holworthy Hall, in the January McClure's con- 
tains this sentence: "A little rhinitis and a little aspirin and this 
other prescription." This sentence is supposed to be spoken by a 
doctor. The author is evidently under the impression that rhinitis 
is a drug — instead of a disease. The suffix "itis" means "inflamma- 
tion," and acute rhinitis is nothing more or less than a cold in the 
head. A physician might prescribe "rhinitis tablets." 

— (Dr.) Cora G. Parmelee. 

In "Little Pal," a "Famous Players" film, the title roll of which 
is played by Mary Pickf ord, an Indian is shown wearing his sheath 
knife where a civilian's watch pocket is located. Now from the 
Canadian Woods, down, any woodsman, to say nothing of a "real 
live injun," wears his knife at his hip, or, in case of its likeliness to 
be needed in hurry, at his side, since if worn in front a fall may bury 
the knife in its wearer's thigh. Therefore only tenderfoots wear it 
in such a position. I know, because I have often worn my own knife, 
and "gun" — even while hammering the typewriter! However, 
since the director of such a high class company as the Famous 
Players allowed the Indian in question to wear his knife in front — a 
point which constitutes one of those important details which robs 
a story of realism if incorrectly applied — perhaps the Alaskan Indian 
(the scene of the play is laid in Alaska) has peculiar knife-wearing 
habits of his own. Will not someone who knows Alaska, as does 
Jack London, or Rex Beach, enlighten us upon the subject? 

— Jules Maurer. 



CRITICS IN COUNCIL 133 

In Dr. Fort's article, " Pistols in Fiction," which was published 
in the January number "for the benefit of writers who are long on 
ability to write short-stories and short on their knowledge of fire- 
arms/ ' Dr. Fort declares that "American pistols have the following 
standard calibers, and no others: 

"Automatic pistols: .22, .32, .35, .38, .380 and .45." 

It happens that I have owned a twenty-five caliber automatic 
for several years. The .25 automatic is a standard caliber, and is the 
most popular small firearm made. It is an American pistol. And 
I have a friend in Texas who owns a .30 caliber automatic. More- 
over, the .38 and the .380 are the same. I have never seen a .22 
caliber automatic, and can find none advertised in the catalog of 
the largest sporting goods store in Chicago. 

All this has nothing to do with story- writing, but the .25 pistol 
is such a handy, dependable and vicious little instrument that it 
seems a shame to deny it. — Cleve Hallenbeck. 

A. T. Strong offers a criticism of "The Log of the Jolly Polly" 
(Critics in Council Writer's Monthly, January), saying the narrator 
checks his suitcase and later drops it as he saves the lovely lady from 
a bloodthirsty automobile. Evidently this contributor overlooked 
the paragraph immediately preceding the account of the rescue 
which contains the following sentence: "With a light heart, I 
returned to the office of the steamboat line and retrieving my suit- 
case started with it toward the Parker House." — B. F. C. 

In the January St. Nicholas one of our well-known humorists 
stumbles, as may be permitted to great and small now and then. 
In his clever poem, "Posers," John Kendrick Bangs uses the follow- 
ing redundancy, "At 4 a. m. one morning and said." — Helen Reeve. 

In "The Woman of the Twilight," a novel by Marah Ellis 
Ryan, the following bits of grammar struck me as being incorrect: 

1. "And you doubt me acquiring such seamanship?" 

2. "If she was a sister of mine " 

3. "He wished she was safely settled in life." 

The first two were spoken by characters in the story, yet they 
were educated people and one of them was a novelist of nation-wide 
fame. The third quotation was not enclosed in quotation marks. 
I have under-lined the words I believe to be incorrectly used and 
would like to have your opinion as to whether or not they are. 

I also noticed such a sentence as the second one in Crawford's 
Fair Margaret.",' — Herbert Scott. 

In the first sentence, me should, without doubt, be my. The correctness of the second clause 
— it is not a sentence — depends entirely upon the meaning, and that is governed by what may 
follow. It is proper to use were in such a case if the woman's being a sister is merely considered 
as a supposed instance and not as a fact. Was would be used correctly in such a sentence as this: 
"If she was a sister of mine, why did she not make herself known?" Compare this with the atti- 
tude of mind expressed in the following sentence: "If she were a sister of mine I should disown 
her." The third sentence is correct, but the addition of the word that would make it a little more 
smooth. — Editor. 



If you can say a good thing pertinent to any phase of the writer's work, say it briefly and with 
pungency — and send it in. 

The sense of the dramatic is less to be cultivated in the theatre 
than down among men. Those who are looking for big dramatic 
ideas will indeed find them on the stage — but they are in use. In 
the daily struggle are suggestions for dramatic struggle which are 
as fresh as ever came to the hand of Sardou, Ibsen, or Brieux. 

— Edwin H. Carpenter. 

It is easy to be a trailer, but it is not easy to be a trailer and 
succeed. — A. T. D. 

The pit digger does not look like a mountaineer, neither does a 
groveling mind naturally utter thoughts of distinction. The reason 
so many writers write monotonous dialogue is that they have lived 
but one life, and that not a vivid one. Tennyson lived a circum- 
scribed existence in the flesh, but his mind and fancy roved in all 
worlds known and unknown. — Karl von Kraft. 

The severest critics of the photoplay are those who see less than 
a dozen film productions a year. Perhaps they judge by the in- 
artistic and often horrible posters which flame in front of certain 
types of photoplay houses. Yet they do not judge Broadway theatres 
by Bowery placards. The one process is as fair as the other. When 
intelligent and refined patrons demand the best they will get it in 
even greater measure than they do today, large as has been the 
advancement up till now. — Arthur O'Hara. 

No rule of literary art is to be accepted with too great literalness. 
Here truly the letter killeth while the spirit maketh alive. — Domine. 

Bards who long to be " where they are not" might find subject 
for encouragement in the words of John Masefield, the famous 
English poet, who says: "The place to be when writing about the 
country is in the heart of the crowded city, and it is in the country 
alone that one can write best of the surge of the metropolis. One 
should write of summertime in winter and of winter chill in the glow 
of August." 

Therefore ye city bards need not be "in green pastures, where 
the blooming daisys nod" to write your "Country Thoughts," nor 
ye country bards to be " 'mid the city's hurrying throngs" to write 
your "Song of the Mart." — Jules Maurer. 

The saying that beauty is only skin-deep does not apply to 
literature. Beauty of form is not enough — there must be beauty of 
content as well. — H. R. Bear. 



m 


TO 

5ELL 


1 



Our readers are urgently asked to join in making this department up-to-date and accurate. 
Information of new markets, suspended or discontinued publications, prize contests in any way 
involving pencraft, needs of periodicals as stated in communications from editors, and all news 
touching markets for all kinds of literary matter should be sent promptly so as to reach Springfield 
before the 20th day of the month preceding date of issue. 



The Writer's Monthly will buy no more manuscript of the larger sort before 
June, 1916, as the supply of accepted material is large. There is, however, present 
and constant need for departmental material, for short, pertinent paragraphs. 
Payment is made only in subscriptions or extension of present subscriptions. 

For the best 3,500 word essay on "Alcohol and Economic Efficiency," 
written by any student in a Baptist college or seminary a prize of $100 in gold is 
offered. Contributions should be sent to Rev. Quay Rosselle, D.D., 1701 Chest- 
nut St., Philadelphia, before April 1, 1916. 

The Committee of One Hundred offers a series of prizes, aggregating $1,000, 
for poems on Newark, N. J. and its 250th Anniversary, and plans to publish the 
best of the poems submitted in a volume to be entitled, "Newark's Anniversary 
Poems. " In this competition all of the poets of our country are invited to par- 
ticipate. Manuscripts must reach the office of the Committee on or before 
April 10, 1916. The Free Public Library will gladly furnish to any inquirers 
further particulars of the contest, as well as information about Newark's past, 
present and future. 



The Department of Commerce at Washington is compiling a list of transla- 
tors who are prepared to render idiomatic translations for manufacturers and 
exporters. The secretaries of Boards of Trade in various localities have been 
asked to recommend names for this list. Nominations of translators with refer- 
ences should be made to any local secretary of a Board of Trade, or application, 
with certificates of efficiency, may be sent to any of the following district offices of 
the Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce; New York. Room 409 United 
States Customhouse; Boston, eighteenth floor United States Customhouse; 
Chicago, 504 Federal Building; St. Louis, 402 Third National Bank Building; 
Atlanta, 521 Post Office Building; New Orleans, 1020 Hibernia Bank Building; 
San Francisco, 306 United States Customhouse; Seattle, 922 Alaska Building. 
Cooperative district offices: Cleveland, Chamber of Commerce; Cincinnati, 
Chamber of Commerce; Los Angeles, Chamber of Commerce; Detroit, Board of 
Commerce; Philadelphia, Chamber of Commerce. 

Snappy Stories offers 68 cash and other prizes for four-line jingles about 
"Chaste Lucy;" $100 for the best jingle; $50 for the second best; $25 for the 
third best; $10 each for the five next best; and $5 each for the ten next best. The 
following jingle is a sample of what is required: 

" Chaste Lucy was so pure, so good, 

Bad men passed by in haste, 
They'd never think of chasing her, 
So Lucy was unchased!" 
The conditions of the contest are as follows: 1. Jingles must all be about the 
same character, Lucy, extolling her virtues in some humorous way. 2. They 
must be of four lines, similar in metre to the sample given. 3. Each jingle must be 
written or typed on the outside of an envelope, inside of which must be placed a 
slip of paper on which is written the name and address of the contestant. The 
envelope must be sealed, and it will not be opened until the judges have rendered 



136 WHERE TO SELL 

their decisions. 4. More than one jingle may be written on an envelope, if desired. 
5. All jingles submitted must be addressed Contest Editor, Snappy Stories, 35-37 
West 39th Street, New York City. 6. You may send in as many verses as you 
like, and a contestant sending in more than one verse is entitled to as many prizes 
as his verses can win for him. Until after the decisions are made the judges will 
positively not know whether a writer is represented more than once or not. 7. You 
may change the form of the first line if you care to ; and while it is not necessary 
to put a title to each verse, a clever title may be a deciding factor in the awarding 
of a prize. 

"A well-known New Yorker, a man who stands high in his profession, read 
the article in Pictorial Review for February entitled, 'Who Gets the Most Out of 
Love? ' and then sat down and wrote us this letter. He dares us to print it. We 
take the dare, and offer $50.00 for the best, most interesting letter in answer to it. 
We will pay $25.00 for every other answer that we consider interesting enough to 
print. Don't miss this chance to get back good and strong at this presumptuous 
mortal, who, incidentally, has been married twice! The letter follows: 'Every 
He-husband always realizes that the man gives up far more than the woman in 
getting married. Matrimony is women's game. They grow up always intending 
to commit it. Men get married only when they are trapped — by a pretty face, a 
stunning gown, a home dinner — or something else. And just think how they have 
to pay for it. They have to give up : Half their income or more. All their bachelor 
friends. All pleasant and stimulating women friends. Much of their time. Most 
of their recreations. After marriage their social circle invariably consists of 
their wives' friends. If the woman gets tired of it, she gets a divorce and an 
income. If the man gets tired, sometimes he can't even get a divorce, and if he 
does, there's the alimony forever. Tell your lady readers the truth sometimes. ' 

"We will pay $50.00 for the best, most interesting letter, and $25.00 for 
every other letter that we deem interesting enough to print. This competition 
is open to all our women readers. Read the conditions carefully. Typewrite or 
write in ink on one side of the paper only. Be brief — the briefer the better. Keep 
your answer inside of one thousand words. Do not enclose stamps, as no contribu- 
tion in this contest will be returned. Contributors' names will not be published. 
Contest closes April 15th. Address manuscripts to MARRIAGE CONTEST 
EDITOR, Pictorial Review, 216-226 West 39th St., New York." 

One prize of $50, one of $25, and five of $5 — two complete sets, one set for 
professional and one for amateur photographers — are offered by the International 
Exposition of Photographic Arts and Industries, 241 Engineers' Bldg., Cleveland, 
Ohio, in a competition conducted in connection with the Fourth Annual Conven- 
tion of the Photographic Dealers' Association of America. All those wishing to 
exhibit photographs at the exposition should send at once for entry blanks, 
addressing the Print Committee. 

The Equitable Motion Pictures Corporation, 130 West 46th St., New York 
City, is in the market for strikingly original subjects, preferably strongly dramatic. 
Where there is striking originality or unusual merit they do not care particularly 
where the story may be set, but in the main they prefer modern stories with at 
least a touch of society life, giving an opportunity for elaborate sets and smart 
clothing. They prefer a story featuring one character, suitable as the vehicle of 
some star. Only five-reel stories are handled. 

Emerald Motion Picture Company, 164 W. Washington St., Chicago, is 
not in the market for scenarios, as the class of pictures they handle cannot be 
written by the general photoplay authors. 

Mary H. O'Connor of the Fine Arts Film Co., 4500 Sunset Ave., Los 
Angeles, sends in the following statement: "Because of our association with the 
Triangle program, our purchase of plays from free-lance writers is most restricted, 
especially so as we maintain a staff of writers. However, we are in the market for 
five-reel stories for use in Fine Arts Films. The stories must be of a high order 
of originality and development. We pay the best market price and give every 



WHERE TO SELL 137 

script that shows the slightest semblance of being of use to us a careful reading and 
consideration. " 

The American Film Manufacturing Company, West Mission St., Santa 
Barbara, Cal., recommends the observance of the following requirements in sub- 
mitting photoplay scripts: " Submit typewritten script with SYNOPSIS of 
about 200 words to a reel. Enclose self-addressed, stamped return envelope of 
suitable size. Address all scripts to Scenario Department — not to individuals. 
The American is not producing Indian, military or costume pictures, but is 
interested in strong, original, logical plots of any other type which 'get over' in 
action; either one or two-reel drama or comedy-drama (no slap stick), also four- 
and five-reel dramas. The price paid depends upon the value of the script. " 

New York Motion Picture Corporation, Culver City, Cal., is producing 
nothing but five- and six-reel stories with men and women stars, featuring espe- 
cially William S. Hart, Bessie Barriscale, and Frank Keenan. They are doing 
modern social dramas, comedy dramas, and stories of intrigue, but no costume 
stuff is used whatever. All material submitted to the firm is given personal 
reading, the author receiving an answer within a week or ten days from receipt of 
manuscript. 

The Solax Company, Lemoine Ave., Fort Lee, N. J., requires at present 
only scenarios based on well-known books or plays, the copyrights for which can 
be purchased. Later their requirements may change, but that is the present 
state of affairs. 

Spare Moments, Allentown, Pa., is in need of short fiction of 3,000 words in 
length, dealing with love, adventure and mystery. They also use verse. In 
general manuscripts are reported on within two weeks, and payment is made upon 
acceptance. 

The Delineator, New York City, is in the market for serials of 40,000 to 50,000 
words in length, and short fiction of 2,500 to 4,500 words in length. They also 
use special articles, and occasionally humorous stories. Manuscripts are reported 
on within two weeks, and payment is made on acceptance. 

The Metropolitan Magazine, New York City, is looking for short stories not 
exceeding 25,000 words in length, and preferably within the 5,000 word limit. 
The theme, as long as it is clean, is immaterial. A vigorous, sophisticated style is 
desired, and only the best stories are wanted. Manuscripts are almost always 
reported on within seven days, and payment is made on acceptance. 

B. H. von Klein, of the Bostock Jungle & Film Company, 1919 South 
Main St., Los Angeles, writes as follows: "The only kind of scenarios we are 
interested in at present are five-reel animal scenarios, with a logical reason for the 
animals being introduced into the story; five-reel dramas with a strong, manly 
part for Mr. Crane Wilbur; and one-reel comedies suitable to our comedian, 
Mr. George Ovey. 

Adventure, New York City, wishes serials of 60,000 to 100,000 words in 
length, novelettes of 20,000 to 60,000 words in length, and also short stories. 
These must all be clean, full of action, and well told. They also use some humor. 

Good Housekeeping, New York City, prefers short fiction of 5,000 words in 
length. The characters must be clean, worth-while people. No sex stories are 
accepted. Manuscripts are reported on within a week, and payment is made 
practically on acceptance. 

Argonaut, San Francisco, wants short stories of 1,000 to 3,000 words in 
length, and is particularly in need of 1,000 word fiction. No sex, prison, uplift, or 
juvenile themes, and no mushy love stories are wanted. They require strong, 
upstanding tales, and though they desire humorous stories, tragedy, if well done, 
is accepted. Manuscripts, when accompanied by stamped, self-addressed enve- 
lope, are returned within a week, and payment is made on acceptance. 



The Writers 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwein 

Entered at the Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by Th» Homb Corbi- 
spondknce School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

IMPORTANT NOTICES 

Change of address must reach the publisher 
before the first of the month. No numbers can 
be duplicated when this rule has not been com- 
plied with. Subscribers must give old address 
when sending in the new, and specifically address 
the notice to The Writer's Monthly. 

Return postage must accompany all regular 
articles intended for publication ; otherwise, 
without exception, unavailable manuscripts 
will not be returned. 

In no case can short items for the Depart- 
ments be returned if unavailable, therefore 
copies should be retained by the writers. 

Notices of accepted material will be 
sent promptly with payment on acceptance. 
However, items for "Critics in Council," 
"Paragraphic Punches," "Experience Meet- 
ing," and "The Word Page" will be paid for 
only in shorter or longer subscriptions to The 
Writer's Monthly, to be sent to any desired 
person. Items for the other departments will 
not be paid for. 



Vol. VII March, 1916 



No. 3 



Letters of commendation con- 
tinue to reach us daily and we 
are most appreciative — we wish 
we could answer them all. If you 
are one of those who like our 
Magazine won't you help us 
make it better by extending its 
circulation? Surely you have 
friends to whom you could send 
a copy with a word of praise. Be 
a "good fellow" and — Push. 

Do you weary of hearing advice 
that ought not to be needed? If 
so, be patient, for we assure you 
that there are an amazing num- 
ber of writers who, in the face of 
all such counsel, continue to do 
little things that stamp their 
work as amateurish. Now, 



Suppose You Were An Editor 

Would you enjoy reading 
manuscript written in purple 
copying ink, which stained your 
cuffs and fingers? 

Could you readily fix your 
sympathetic attention on a story 
the sheets of which were stitched 
or fastened so close to either the 
top or the side margin that it 
required an effort to hold the 
pages open? 

How would you like to find 
that the second and the sixth and 
the thirteenth and the twenty- 
third and the forty - seventh 
manuscript you read on a long 
weary day had been compactly 
rolled and defied your best efforts 
to straighten out the sheets? 

Would it add to your ability 
to consider a story fairly if it was 
written in single space? or with a 
pale, over-worked ribbon? or on 
paper so thin that the page 
beneath showed through? 

Would it make you feel that 
the writer of a story was success- 
ful to find her manuscript deco- 
rated with pink ribbons? or with 
highly ornamental head and tail 
pieces showing his ingenuity with 
pen or typewriter? 

What would be your language 
if when reading a manuscript 
you laid it down for a moment 
and it fell to the floor and you 
found that the mixed pages had 
not been numbered? 

Would your ability to consider a 
story fairly be helped by discover- 
ing that the author had craftily 
placed several pages of his manu- 
script such a way that he thought 
he could discover if an editor had 
read that far in the story? 

These are only a few of the 
trials an editor meets in manu- 
script reading. Can't you help 
him to consider your offering in 
circumstances the most favorable 
to You? 



EDITORIAL 



139 



On the other hand, what 
future punishment is best suited 
to an editor who will 

Stick pins in your manuscript? 

Spill ink on its spotless pages? 

Sit on it, not in judgment, 
but apparently with a pair of 
machinist's overalls? 

Lose a sheet out of the middle 
of the story — a loss which you do 
not discover until the manuscript 
has come back from its third 
subsequent trip? 

Retain your postage stamps 
and on the third complaint aver 
that you never sent any? 

Lose the greatest story of the 
age — written by you? 

Send back your story when he 
is constantly using others not 
half so — but now we are getting 
on dangerous ground. 

If writers who are seeking for 
timely themes would look ahead 
they might often forecast the 
vogue of tomorrow. Instead of 
writing war stories why not get 
ready for the peace that will 
someday dawn? The man who 
scores with the timely theme is 
the one who gets there first. 

Too strong a reliance upon the 
timely theme is likely to cramp 
invention. The big, fundamen- 
tal forces of nature are the same 
always — it needs only the fresh 
twist in the new setting to make 
the story seem original. 

Why spend all your time in 
getting ready to write? Learn to 
write by writing, just as a 
youngster learns to swim. Sup- 
pose your first attempts are ludi- 
crous, you need not print them, 
and no editor is likely to persuade 



you to. Write much and destroy 
much. Many a bad poem may 
make good curl papers. By and 
by will come the beauty of idea 
wedded to beauty of form — then 
invest in postage stamps. 



In his famous "London Lec- 
ture" our American Artemas 
Ward solemnly declared that he 
did not wish to five in vain — he 
would rather, he said, live in 
New York. That is a dreadful 
alternative to an editor who has 
spent a century in Philadelphia 
during the last fifteen years, yet 
we really are not living in vain 
when we add a few harmless 
chortles to the repertory of our 
argus-eyed readers. One of them, 
who signs himself C. F. B., 
notes three errors in one para- 
graph — and, of all unholy places 
— in January Critics In Coun- 
cil! He hopes "that the blame 
for this will not be laid at the 
door of the painstaking proof- 
reader nor the conscientious 
printer, for very likely copy was 
followed closely." 

Dear C. F. B., you have a 
discerning mind and a prophetic 
hoping apparatus. When the 
transcriber wrote "Irwin Cobb" 
instead of Irvin S. Cobb, then 
heaped ignominy upon E. Phil- 
lips Oppenheim by changing his 
initial E. to J., and finally 
added an offensive er as a wiggling 
tail to his name, she got rid of 
more errors at one time than she 
allows herself in any other ninety- 
seven days, by actual count. The 
staff of The Writer's Monthly 
is not error-proof, of course, and 
all who are responsible for this 
landslide, from the editor up, 
abjectly apologize. Are we for- 
given? Thank you! 



The Writer's Book List 

Prepared by the Editorial Staff of The Writer's Monthly and Continued from Month to Month 

A good working library is an essential for the writer who would succeed. If you cannot have a 
large library, you can at least have a good one, small though it be. It may cost some present 
sacrifices to own the best books, but the investment will pay abundantly before long. 

Each volume in the following list of "Specially Recommended" books, and those which were 
specially recommended in succeeding issues, has been carefully chosen as being the best in its class 
and for the purpose designed, and is known to us as reliable and adequate. Each book covers 
either its field entire or a distinct phase of its special subject, as indicated by the notes, so that the 
several specially recommended books in any one class overlap in scope just as little as possible. 
Therefore the entire list of specially recommended books on any one subject — and they are few in 
number, in every instance — form a complete working library on that theme. 

The "Other Good Books" listed are all valuable, and hence worth reading and owning, yet 
in our opinion they are not so necessary as the specially recommended titles. In most instances 
they either cover much the same ground as some of the books included in the former list, or are 
suited for the special study of minor divisions of the subject, and are here recommended for those 
who wish to go into the matters more completely, or who wish to possess more than one treatise 
on the subject. 

Any book will be sent by The Writer's Monthly on receipt of price. The prices always 
include delivery, except when noted. Send all remittances to The Writer's Monthly, Myrick 
Building, Springfield, Mass. 



Manuals for Writers 

Specially Recommended 

The Preparation of Manuscript 

By J. Berg Esenwein and Robert 
Thomas Hardy. Includes all the essen- 
tials — "copy" preparation, editing, proof- 
reading, spelling, capitalization, punctua- 
tion, hyphenization, etc. In -preparation. 
Ready in the autumn of 1916. 

1,001 Places to Sell Manuscripts $2.50 

Compiled by W. R. Kane. 2,802 markets 
for manuscripts are listed and classified. 
There are definite statements of require- 
ments which will enable the user of this 
book to know what kinds of manuscripts 
may be submitted to each publisher, editor, 
or manufacturer with likelihood of accept- 
ance. An invaluable guide. Library 
Buckram, interleaved. Postpaid. 

Copyright: Its History and Law $5.27 

By Richard R. Bowker. Covers the de- 
velopment of copyright in all countries, 
from the earliest time to the passage of the 
new American code of 1909 and of the 
British code of 1911; with an annotated 
chronological table of laws and cases and a 
tabulated conspectus of copyright in all 
countries. Cloth. Postpaid. 



The Building of a Book 



$2.15 



Edited by Frederic H. Hitchcock, with 
an introduction of Theodore L. De Vinne. 
Thirty-seven remarkable chapters by as 
many different experts, telling how every 
phase of bookmaking is accomplished, from 
George W. Cable on "The Author," Paul 
Reynolds on "The Literary Agent," down 
through type-making, composing, paper- 
making, advertising, and every other step, 
to "Selling at Retail," by Wanamaker's 
manager, Warren Snyder. 375 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 



Elements of Literary Criticism $0.90 

By Charles F. Johnson. Seven excellent 
essays on "Unity," "The Power of Draw- 
ing Character, " " The Writer's Philosophy, " 
"The Musical Word-Power," "The Phrasal 
Power", "The Descriptive Power", "The 
Emotional Power, " together with a general 
introduction. IV + 294 pp. Cloth. Post- 
paid. 



Other Good Books 

A History of Criticism $2.90 

By George Saintsbtjry. The chapters 
on English criticism taken from the larger 
work on general criticism, in three volumes. 
A recognized standard work for advanced 
students. XI + 549 pp. Cloth. Prepaid. 

A Handbook of Literary Criticism $2.00 

By William H. Sheran. An example of 
literary forms, in prose and verse. XI -f- 
578 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Proof-Reading and Punctuation $1.10 

By Adele Millicent Smith. Contains 
also much information on typography. 
183 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Preparation of Manuscripts for the 
Printer . . $0.83 

By Frank H. Vizetelly. Directions for 
preparing copy, reading proof, and sug- 
gestions for submitting manuscripts for 
publication. 148 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 



Manual of Style 



$1.10 



University of Chicago Press. Treats of 
capitalization, spelling, punctuation, divi- 
sions of words, and all the practices of 
literary typography. A full set of examples 
of styles of plain and decorative type, orna- 
ments, and borders. 118 pp. Cloth. Post- 
paid. 



THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST 



141 



Handbook of Style 



$0.50 



In use at the Riverside Press, Cambridge, 
Mass. Similar to the foregoing, but more 
condensed. 35 pp. Boards. 



The Writer's Desk Book 



$0.68 



By William Dana Orcutt of the Norwood 
Press. A reference volume on punctuation, 
capitalization, spelling, division of words, 
indention, abbreviations, accents, numerals, 
faulty diction, letter writing, postal regula- 
tions, etc. 184 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 



The Author's Desk Book 



$0.68 



By William Dana Orcutt. Terse and 
authoritative instruction for the author on 
all matters pertaining to his buisness rela- 
tions with others. Chapters on the mechan- 
ics of the book, arrangement of the book and 
making the index. VI -f- 164 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 

Manual for Writers 



By John Matthews Manly, University 
of Chicago, and John Arthur Powell, 
U. of C. Press. Covers the same ground as 
the foregoing. 225 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

A Practical Guide for Authors $0.75 

By William Stone Booth. Deals largely 
with the relations between authors and 
publishers; it has chapters on offering 
manuscripts to publishers, punctuation, 
spelling, proof-reading, etc. 180 pp. Half 
Cloth. Postpaid. 



Punctuation 



$1.25 



By F. Horace Teall. Contains also 
chapters on Hyphenization, Capitalization, 
and Spelling. A valuable little book by an 
expert worker on "The Standard Diction- 
ary." VII + 193 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Orthography, Etymology and Punctu- 
ation . . $0.60 

By S. R. Winchell. Diacritical marks, 
vowel sounds, the consonants, rules for 
dividing words into syllables, accent, list 
of words often mispronounced, rules for 
spelling, synonyms and homonyms, ety- 
mology, punctuation, abbreviations, etc. 
An exceedingly valuable and helpful book. 
195 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Punctuation and other Typo- 
graphical Matters . . $0.55 

By Marshall T. Bigelow. Contains, in 
addition to rules for punctuation a large 
amount of material bearing upon the prepa- 
ration of manuscripts for the printer. 116 
pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

A Punctuation Primer, With Notes on 
the Preparation of Manuscript. 

By Frances M. Berry. Includes Capitali- 
zation, word division, and letter writing. 
103 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 

Good English : A practical manual 
of correct speaking and writ- 
ing .... $0.75 

By John Louis Haney. Dr. Haney has 
prepared this valuable little book as the 



outgrowth of his work with the Ladies Home 
Journal in answering inquiries on questions 
of English usage, and while serving as a 
professor in the Central High School of 
Philadelphia. XI 4- 244 pp. Cloth. 
Postpaid. 



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compact digest of information and rules on 
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simple English. IX 4- 203 pp. Cloth. 
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By Josephine T. Baker. Invaluable to 
writers; contains hints on punctuation, 
paragraphing, special rules for composi- 
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Cloth. Postpaid. 

$1.35 Everybody's Writing-Desk Book $0.75 

By Charles Nisbet and Don Lemon. 
Contains suggestions to beginners in litera- 
ture, forms of addresses, directions for the 
correction of proofs, etc. 310 pp. Post- 
paid. 



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By Ambrose Bierce. This volume should 
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business man, and on the desk of every 
stenographer. 73 pp. Postpaid. 

The Correspondent's Manual $0.55 

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The Correct Word, How to Use It $1.35 

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How to Avoid Them . . $0.55 

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common blunders in writing and speaking 
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By Edwin Wildman. A text-book of liter- 
ary craftsmanship, with practical instruc- 
tions for those who would do popular work. 
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Where to Sell Your Manuscripts $1.00 

By E. F. Barker. A large list of publishers 
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specific character of material used and 
prices paid. About fifty pages. Limp 
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^N 



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No questions can be answered by mail, nor can we supply names of players taking part in 
certain piotures. Questions relating to the writing, sale, and production of photoplays and other 
literary forms will be answered in this column, but readers are aaked to make their letters brief 
and to the point. 



T. B. O. — (1) In counting words in a story or article all the small words are 
counted. When an editor counts words in order to estimate the amount of space 
required in the magazine, he counts the short lines as though they were full, and 
then leaves a slight margin in excess for additional short lines in the type composi- 
tion. (2) The contributor does not have anything to do with the illustrating of a 
short-story. If the author is himself an artist it will do no harm to submit illus- 
trations, but unless they are thoroughly well done and in the style of the magazine 
it would be worse than useless. All in all, it is far better not to send illustrations 
with stories. On the other hand, it is always wise to send photographs with 
articles if the prints are particularly good and capable of being reproduced. (3) 
You probably mean "keep the right-hand margin as even as the left," instead of 
the reverse, which you state. There is no reason why the right-hand margin of 
manuscript should be more than ordinarily even. (4) It does not matter what 
color type you use provided you do not use a copying ribbon, which is apt to soil 
the hands of the manuscript reader. The one rule is not to use a pale ribbon 
which makes reading hard. 

TYRO— (1) You can probably secure a copy of "Just Tell Them That You 
Saw Me" by writing to Pat Howley, 146 West 45th St., New York; or you can 
ask your local music dealer to order a copy from his jobber. (2) The New York 
Clipper, 47 W. 28th St., New York, and The Billboard, Cincinnati, O., carry con- 
siderable up-to-date song news. Jacob's Orchestra Monthly might also be of 
interest. It is mentioned in the February Writer's Monthly. 

A. F. K., SAN BENITO, TEX.— (1) Some agents are reliable and some are 
not. You can do just as well by handling your own work. Follow the reports 
in the "Where to Sell" department of this magazine. Some agents use it as a 
working guide. (2) We never recommend clients to song publishers who advertise 
for poems in magazines and newspapers. (3) There are more than fifty music 
publishers in this country who publish songs without asking the author to stand 
any of the expense. This list will appear in a book on Song Writing which will 
come out in the near future. (4) Address your letter to Miss Owen in care of this 
magazine and the letter will be forwarded to her. 

AN OLD SUBSCRIBER — Broad a is a as in father. Short i is i as in flit. 
Dissimilar sounds make contrast. Similar sounds make harmony, but if used too 
often they make monotony. If the poetical passages in the chapter on Tone- 
Color in "The Art of Versification" are read aloud, the ear cannot fail to detect 
the contrasting sounds. The best treatise on the sound of English letters and 
their employment in verse is Robert Louis Stevenson's essay "On Some Technical 
Elements of Style in Literature. " 

W. B., NASHUA, N. H. — (l)Anyone familiar with music cannot write a 
good piano accompaniment. Better engage someone who makes a specialty 
of this sort of work. (2) A publisher would make necessary revisions, provided 
the song appealed to him. (3) The best way to submit a song is in a pasteboard 
tube. (4) There is no magazine that we know of that is devoted exclusively to 
song writing and song writers. (5) The majority of well-known song writers write 
the words and music of the chorus first, and if the chorus does not come up to their 
expectations they do not write the verses. Your method of construction would 
not make the song hopeless; but we could offer no opinion without having seen 
the manuscript. 



Short-Story Writing 




Dr. Esenwein 
and Verse Writing, Journalism; 



A COURSE of forty lessons in the history, form 
structure, and writing of the Short-Story taught by 
Dr. J. Berg Esenwein, formerly Editor of Lippin- 
cott'e Magazine. 

Story-writers must be made as well as born ; they 
must master the details of construction if they would 
turn their talents to account. 

May we send you the names of students and gradu- 
ates who have succeeded? And the success their let- 
ters prove is practical. It means recognition, accepted 
manuscripts and checks from editors. 

One student, before completing the les- 
sons, received over $1000 for manuscripts 
sold to Woman's Home Companion, 
Pictorial Review, McCall's, and other 
leading magazines. 

We also offer courses in Photoplay Writing, Poetry 
in all over One Hundred Home Study Courses, many of 



them under professors in Harvard, Brown, Cornell, and other leading colleges. 

250-Page Catalog Free. Please Address 

THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL, 
Department 78, Springfield, Mass. 



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multiple-reel scripts which are being 
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be TWO DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST 
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will continue to receive the very best 
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We reserve the right to return any 
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Such a letter will equal the "criticism" 
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the only difference between this and our 
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THE ART OF VERSIFICATION 

By J. Berg Esenwtin and Mary Eleanor Roberts 

The most complete, practical and helpful 
working handbook ever issued on the Prin- 
ciples of Poetry and the Composition of all 
Forms of Verse. 

Clear and progressive in arrangement. 
Free from unexplained technicalities. In- 
dispensable to every writer of verse. Money 
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for it. 

Cloth, XII+310 pp. Uniform with the 
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THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
Springfield, Mass. 

WRITERS OF FICTION AND PHOTOPLAYS 

New volume of the Authors' Hand Book Series ready 

" THE UNIVERSAL PLOT CATALOG " 

by Henry Albert Phillips. The Elements of 
Plot Material and Construction, Combined 
with a Complete Index and a Progressive 
Category in which the Source, Life and End 
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PRACTICAL TREATISE for Writers of 
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paid, $1.20 

OTHER VOLUMES: "The Plot of the 
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SONG LYRICS AND 
MELODIES 

Why try to market a lyric or a 
melody that possesses no commercial 
value? Why become a victim to the 
honeyed words of the song shark? 

A good song by a beginner may not 
bring a fortune in royalties, but if 
properly marketed it will bring some 
financial returns and afford the tyro a 
■tart. 

The Writer's Monthly for a small 
fee will examine your lyric or song, give 
you a frank and detailed criticism on it, 
tell you whether it has any commercial 
and poetical value, and give you a list 
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Should the song contain sufficient 
merit, our Song Department will 
market same for you on a 10% com- 
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to sell your work outright. 
Reading fee for separate lyric . 1.10 
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COMPLETE YOUR FILES OF 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

We have on hand a few complete files of THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
new series, from May 1913 to May, 1915 (June-July, 1913, being a special 
double number). These twenty-five monthly numbers, placed in your 
working library will give you 840 large pages crammed with instructive 
articles and helpful information for writers. Among the interesting 
features m these numbers of the magazine are the delightfully readable 
personality sketches of Epes Winthrop Sargent, William Lord Wright 
Marc Edmund Jones, F. Marion Brandon, Horace G. Plimpton, Maibelle 
Heikes Justice, Frank E. Woods, George Fitzmaurice, Russell E. Smith, 
James Dayton, Hettie Gray Baker, C. B. Hoadley, Arthur Leeds, William 
E Wing, Henry Albert Phillips, John Wm. Kellette, Catherine Carr, 
Phil Lonergan, Raymond L. Schrock, Beta Breuil, Gilson Willetts and 
van Buren Powell. Many of our readers have declared that this 
monthly feature is alone worth the price of a year's subscription. The 
department, "Thinks and Things," has also helped to make this helpful 
littlerjenodical famous. The series of articles on "Photoplay Construc- 
tion, by J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds, running through many 
numbers, should be read by everyone who is seeking to perfect his technical 
knowledge. "Diagnosis and Culture of the Plot Germ," by John A. Mc- 
Collom, Jr., is a series of six articles that will prove invaluable to the 
writer who experiences difficulty in developing the "plot habit," that most 
necessary equipment to a successful literary career. Scores of special 
articles by the most prominent editors, critics, and photoplay writers of 
the day make these issues of the magazine a veritable working library of 
photoplay knowledge. 

•o ™ o^ 6 t ^ v la8t > we offer these twenty-five numbers to our readers for 
$2.00. Send your order to 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

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CORRECT ENGLISH- 
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Josephine Turck Baker, Editor. 

Your Everyday 
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HELPS FOR SPEAKERS 
HELPS FOR WRITERS 

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and many other subjects 
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THE 

DRAMATIST 



A Magazine devoted exclusively 
to the Science of Play Con- 
struction. 

Current plays analysed in such 
a way as to afford the student 
a grasp of applied dramatur- 
gic principle. 

Endorsed by all leading Play- 
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The DRAMATIST 

EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA 



A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 



The Write 



Monthl 




Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY AUTHOR 



Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



APRIL, 1916 



NUMBER 4 



Writing is the one Art in which 
Men seek to begin at the Top. 
Yet that way lies Failure. He 
who truly values Thought and 
its Effective Expression will 
Labor— with Humility, with 
Patience, and with Hope — that 
at length he may come to 
Mastery 




REAL HELPS FOR WRITERS 

The seven volumes listed below are issued in uniform size and style, printed on 
superior antique book paper, and handsomely and durably bound in cloth, with letter- 
ing in gold and gilt top. Together they constitute the most helpful series of authorita- 
tive working handbooks for the writer's desk. 1% mo,, postpaid at prices quoted. 

THE ART OF STORY WRITING. Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
work on Story Writing. A direct and effective guide to actual fictional narration. The 
chapter on plot alone is worth the price of the book to any writer- xi -f- 211 pp. f 1.3S. 

WRITING THE SHORT-STORY Esenwein. The standard textbook on the technique 
of the Short-Story. Widely used in colleges and universities. A complete course includ- 
ing theory, models and practice exercises in actual writing, xiv + 441 pp. $1.26, 

STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. k companion book to Writing the 
Short-Story. Sixteen short-story masterpieces, with methods for analysis. No writer 
and no lover of good stories can afford to miss this well-spread feast, xxxii + 438 pp. 
$1.26. 

TEE TECHNIQUE OF THE MYSTERY STORY. Carolyn Wells. With introduction 
by Dr. Esenwein. A complete exposition of the mystery story form. A book that stimu- 
lates insight into the methods of successful writers of plotted stories and at the same 
time cultivates fertility in the mind of the reader, ix + 836 pp. $1.62. 

WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
photoplay construction. Recently reported by the New York City Public Library as the 
book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 874 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION. Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii -j- 310 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An Inspirational 
working handbook of instruction for all who would be efficient public speakers. A book 
with a "punch" on every page. xi -f 512 pp. $1,76. 

If on inspection a book is found undesirable and it is returned within ten days, the -pur- 
chase price, less postage, will be refunded. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY. Springfield. Mass. 



A Weil-Known Writer says: 

"Webster^ New International 

Is a marvel of completeness. It is an indispensable 
feature of the library of every man who either reads 
or writes. There is no matter of land, sea or sky that 
does not come within its purview and every topic is 
handled by a master." 




400.000 Vocabulary Terms. New Gazetteer 
12,000 gSographSca! Entries. 2700 Pages. 
<$ver©0©© ISIustrstieess. Colored Plates 

Regular Edition. Printed on strong book 
paper of the highest quality. 

ledta-Psper Edition. Only half as thick, 
©sly half as heavy as the Regular Edition, 
Printed on fcbin, strong, opaque, India paper. 

More Scholarly, Accurate, convenient, and Au- 
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Critical Comparison with all other dictionaries 
is invited, 

WHITE for specimen pases. 

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The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 



A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII 



April, 1916 



Number 4 



KEEPING AT IT— Epes W. Sargent 

THE DRAMATIC SKETCH— E. Robert Stevenon 
TYPEWRITER FATIGUE— Joseph F. Boyle .... 
LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS— XVI— J. Berg Esenwein . 
THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE— DEPARTMENT— 

Anne Scannell O'Neill ....... 

IMPORTANT PHOTOPLAY FACTS— E. M. Wickes 
THINKS AND THINGS— DEPARTMENT— Arthur Leeds 
A WRITER'S PRAYER-POEM— Mrs. E. W. Dennstedt 

THE WORD PAGE— DEPARTMENT 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— THE HIGH CLASS COMPOSITION 

E. M. Wickes 

EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 
CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT 
H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT . 
WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT 

EDITORIAL 

THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST 
ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES 



147 
149 
151 
153 

156 
158 
159 
163 
164 

165 
170 
172 
174 
176 
178 
180 
181 



Published monthly by The Home Correspondence School, Myrick Building, Springfield, Mass. 

Copyright, 1916, by The Home Correspondence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Entered at Springfield, Massachusetts, Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter 

PRICE 15 CENTS A COPY: : : $1.00 A YEAR 
CANADA $1.25; FOREIGN, $1.50 



Hailed by the Profession as First Complete Guide 

WRITING FOR VAUDEVILLE 

By BRETT PAGE 

Author of "Memories," etc., Dramatic Editor of Newspaper Feature Service, New York. 

HOW TO WRITE the Monologue, Two-Act Playlets, Musical Comedy, The Popular 

Songs, etc. 
NINE FAVORITE ACTS by Aaron Hoffman, Richard Harding Davis, Edgar 

Allan Woolf and others — each worth the price of the book. 

650 Pages - - - - $2.15 net. 

Write Today for Table of Contents and Opinions of Successful Writers. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY, Springfield, Mass. 

The Technique of Play Writing 

By CHARLTON ANDREWS 

Author of " The Drama Today," etc., etc. 

This notable book, just from the press, is clear, concise, authoritative and without a rival. 
It actually takes you by the hand and shows you how to draft a plot, select your characters, 
construct dialogue, and handle all the mechanics of play construction. 

Every point in play writing and play marketing is brought out with clearness. No such 
effective guide has ever been written. XXX -f- 267 pages. Cloth, Gilt Top. $1.62 Postpaid. 

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THE WRITER'S MONTHLY, Springfield, Mass. 



MANUSCRIPTS PUBLISHED 

AT THE COST OF MANUFACTURING 

We cater directly and exclusively to Authors, publishing 

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strictly of what it will cost to manufacture them, and a 

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Vol. vii April, 1916 Number 4 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 



Keeping at It 

By Epes Winthrop Sargent 

Perhaps nothing about photoplay writing seems to excite more 
comment than the fact that in the past five or six years the average of 
available stories has not increased. Out of every batch of submitted 
manuscripts there will be found not more than five per cent, of real 
plays, of which from one-half of one per cent, to two per cent, are 
possibly available to the studio in question. At first glance it seems 
truly remarkable that this average does not improve with time, for 
surely some advancement should have been made in this period. 

It does seem strange until you come to consider the situation, 
but if you are in touch with authors and editors alike the matter soon 
resolves itself into a case of "cold feet" — just that and nothing more. 
Not one writer in a hundred seems to stick to the work long enough to 
reap the reward, and precisely because writers expect too large a 
reward too quickly. 

There are more writers making money from photoplay work 
today than ever before, but there are fewer free lances who can show a 
profit on their work than there were three years ago. This is because 
of the demand for studio writers — men and women who can be 
depended upon to keep up a certain average of output. As soon as 
these are discovered they are apt to be snapped up by the studios, 
and so the percentage of good free lances continues to be small. The 
average of outside contributions remains the same. 

The reason for this is clear, once the conditions are understood. 
Probably not more than one writer in a hundred who takes up photo- 
play work does so with the intention of mastering his profession. The 
other ninety-nine are attracted by the stories of large prices and quick 
results. They read the advertising in the photoplay magazines and 
are told that photoplay writing is easy. They do not want to write — 
they want to receive checks ; and so they start in with nothing but the 
check in view. Generally they merely ask for a "sample scenario." 
They seem to think that this is all they need. Later on they may buy a 
book or invest in a school course, selecting whichever book or course 
utters the most gorgeous lies. Still their stuff does not sell, and then 
they have their stories "reconstructed" at prices ranging from two to 
seven dollars. Still they do not sell Then they give place to others 
who follow the same false path to discouragement. 



148 KEEPING AT IT 

All these writers follow nothing but form. They buy a book 
because the sample script must have been wrong. They turn to 
reconstruction because the book must have been wrong. Never do 
they seem to realize that their plots were not good ones. They can- 
not understand that. The plots must be good because they wrote 
them, and the man who runs the picture show and the " professor" of 
English at the High School both said the story was good. What the 
" professor" does not know about photoplay production is everything, 
but he pronounces the plot good, and the would-be photoplay writer 
accepts the decision because it accords with his own belief. The 
"professor" has verified his own suspicions: His plots are good; they 
do not sell; either the studios steal the stories or they do not buy 
any. In either case it is useless to continue writing. They stop. 

It may seem an astounding statement, but I honestly believe 
that at least from eight to ten thousand aspirants take up and abandon 
the work each year. I have seen estimates that ran as high as a 
quarter million, but this includes those who write only one or two 
scripts and stop. I am speaking of those who cover the course to the 
first jump. 

Of those ten thousand, perhaps eight thousand are hopelessly 
unfit. They are unlettered and unimaginative. They have not the 
slightest chance in the world. Of the remaining two thousand, perhaps 
ten or fifteen might make authors of photoplays if they kept at it, but 
they work for a year or two on form alone, try to sell on form, fail and 
quit. They lose all of the time they have invested — which may not 
be much — and they lose a chance of working up to an income of from 
$3,000 to $5,000 a year. 

I have just laid down a letter from a physician. For a couple of 
years he has been working without result. At first he was willing to 
take advice and work on plotting, but about six months ago he started 
on form. In his letter he says: "I want to see a script of a five-reel 
play that brought $100 a reel or more. I want to see what they are 
like. I know I can do as well if — " he can only get a form to follow, 
and the poor man does not have the sense to accept an earlier letter 
in which he was told that he could sell on synopsis if only he has a five- 
reel idea. 

Another man, this time a newspaper man, has been working on 
plots for more than two years. He is willing to work two years more. 
He sold one comedy a year ago and then stopped trying to sell for a 
year. Now he is turning out plots that are almost good enough to sell, 
but he knows, because he has been told, that he must do more plotting 
before he can not only write good plots but avoid writing poor ones. 
When his education is completed he is going to be a star writer, 
because he is getting a good grounding in his work. 

It is lonesome work writing year after year and never even show- 
ing your work to an editor, but it is about the only way to get ahead. 
Unless a person is willing to work at least three years on plotting, 
following whatever instruction he receives, it is useless to try to make 
a success of photoplay writing, and so few find an immediate success 



THE DRAMATIC SKETCH 149 

that these are scarcely numerous enough to fill the studio openings as 
they are created. 

There is not a studio in the country that does not have in its 
employ staff-men who can write stories as good as the average and 
turn out from one to three reels a week. There is not a studio in the 
country that does not employ at least one reconstruction man who 
can turn out from an author's script a more intelligent continuity than 
the revision bureaus. There is hardly a studio in the country that is 
not willing to pay a decent price for a story that is above the average 
of their plots, but you must stick to the game long enough to come to 
the point where your plots are better than the average. The trouble is 
that the free lances seldom prolong their studies to the point where 
they can do better than average work. Most of them stop long before 
they can equal the average, because they have been told this is a 
business of quick returns. It is not. Even the rejected scripts come 
home late. If you will realize that and be prepared for "the wait," 
then you'll help to boost the average above the two per cent. You 
have perhaps put in two years. Put in two years more, and in the 
fifth collect for all five. Do not lose that two-year advantage. 



The Dramatic Sketch 

By E. Robert Stevenson 

The dramatic sketch and the little one-act play that booking 
agents find worth putting on their vaudeville programs, must be 
built with keen appreciation for the type of entertainment by which 
it is surrounded. The average writer who tries to produce this sort 
of stuff often strikes failure because he does not realize this fact. 
Some of the finest playlets, filled with literary and dramatic merits, 
and enthusiastically received by cultured audiences as curtain- 
raisers in theaters that sold seats at two dollars, or, perhaps, in 
Winthrop Ames's Little Theater in New York, could not stand the 
strain of being produced in the middle of a vaudeville program. The 
writer who has ambitions to see his one-act play kindly received in a 
vaudeville house had best study the entire entertainment of that 
class of theater, for in that will he reach an understanding of his 
audience. 

It is true, in a sense, that your little play stands or falls by itself, 
but you cannot dodge the fact that when the curtain lifts upon it, it 
will face an audience in a "variety" frame of mind. Perhaps some 
clog-dancers have just been swinging them into loud applause by 
rhythmic jigging with interpolated new steps. Perhaps a Girl- 
and-Boy-act has had their sentiments moving to the tune of a popular 
love song. Perhaps two comedians have just left them in roars of 
laughter. A trick-animal-act may have been on, or a troupe of 
trapeze artists. Whatever one of these acts may immediately pre- 



150 THE DRAMATIC SKETCH 

cede your little play, it is certain that a number of acts of that sort 
will have had the attention of the audience before you attempt to 
get it. The effect of these acts on the audience is what I mean by 
the "variety" frame of mind. 

A vaudeville audience is restless; it is used to variety; and woe 
to the playlet that attempts to hold them for too long a time. Long 
experience has taught that twenty minutes for this type of play is 
the practical dead line. The actor who sees anything longer than 
that coming his way will beat a hasty retreat, or will get out a knife 
to cut it to the length that the business requires. 

This " variety" frame of mind, or restlessness, holds these enter- 
tainment seekers to a high pitch that makes its own peculiar demand 
upon the one-act play. From the moment that the curtain lifts, the 
action must move, and move fast. There is no time for the gradual 
introduction of characters that is allowed to the four-act play. The 
moments that the longer drama devotes to getting across the foot- 
lights peculiarities of character, which give so much color to the work 
of our best actors, cannot be wasted in the tabloid drama. Twenty 
minutes is preciously short time, the successful one-act-play writer 
will assure you. Unless the play is a comedy pure and simple, the 
small things that help to give color quirks in the four-act play, but 
do not push the action on, must be discarded. 

How to grip the attention at the very beginning of the act is a 
serious problem. The four-act play in the legitimate theater has it 
easy enough, in comparison, at the lead-off. Its audience is fresh in 
mind, ready to begin its night's entertainment in comparatively 
gradual manner, and set for that special kind of play — often for that 
particular production. A gentle start that introduces the story and 
gives time to getting the spectators worked into the proper tone or 
atmosphere of the piece is all right there. But in the vaudeville 
sketch or the playlet this method will not work. Preceding acts 
have made minds keenly alert, and speed is required at once. 

Speed in the drama at any place, and imperatively at the 
immediate opening of the play, calls for action. High tension in 
dialogue is secured only when the audience has a clear idea of the 
situation. This high tension may be held in the middle of a play 
with no action, or practically none, providing the words all show the 
burning brain of the speaker, their whip-lash effect upon the hearer, 
or clearly throw another twist into the plot complication because in 
delivering them the speaker reaches a vital decision. But dialogue of 
tame introduction, explaining a situation, is dangerous material to 
work with in getting a vaudeville playlet under way. 

Action must be used to get the " punch" into the introduction 
of the vaudeville sketch. Let me illustrate. Your rising curtain may 
discover a disordered room. A man in the act of hiding some article 
that is of importance to the plot overthrows a tall, Colonial clock. 
The crash brings another character upon the scene, and the struggle 
between the two as to the ownership, or disposition, of the hidden 
article is set under way. All this, happening rapidly with noise and 



TYPEWRITER FATIGUE 151 

movement, will catch the attention of a vaudeville audience and pull 
their interest into a play. That clock, you will say, is purely a 
trick. Yes, but a few tricks must be learned by the dramatist who 
confronts the difficulties of gripping a vaudeville audience from the 
start. 

Again, the curtain may discover two characters intent over some 
papers of importance to the plot. A sentence or two gives a hint as 
to what they are about. Then comes a sharp, imperative rapping 
at the door, with their startled jump into action. Perhaps an effort 
is made to conceal one of the persons in the room or to find a place 
of concealment for the papers before the person rapping is admitted. 
This gives the sort of action that the vaudeville play must have to 
set it moving so as to get interest at once. There are, of course, many 
other ways of doing it. These are only illustrative examples. 

Comedy, to be sure, has a rule all its own. If you can get a 
laugh from the start and can keep the fun moving, success is assured. 
The ability to write the stuff that will keep laughs coming is a heaven- 
sent gift. The writer of that sort of material has no need to sweat 
over the effort to grip the interest at the opening, and, in twenty 
minutes, drive through in rapid action a story that will reach a 
logical, thrilling climax. There is great satisfaction in the accom- 
plishment, however. It is hard work, but the joy of sitting in the 
audience and seeing it get the effect that you worked hard to attain 
in a hard fought-for climax is far beyond the simple pleasure of hear- 
ing your fancy fines get the laughs for which you planned. 



Typewriter Fatigue 

By Joseph Francis Boyle 

It is usually a long time before the writer is thoroughly recon- 
ciled to the fate of eternally rapping a typewriter. Only a very few 
approach the machine with anything like pleasure. Often two or 
three hours at the machine sees the writer punching everywhere, and 
looking sometimes for a whole half minute for a desired key! This 
sounds rather ridiculous, but if the reader will pursue his own writing 
long enough he will meet this difficulty, and the futile anger that goes 
with it. 

And then, there is that tired feeling — sometimes a dangerous 
pain at the heart. For a long time I was bothered by these troubles, 
but I considered my time entirely too valuable to waste on study of 
automatic writing, until the time came when I had to, for comfort 
at the machine. 

At first I wrote by sight, bent forward over my work, and hurried 
along. Two hours of this usually saw me hopelessly tired and dis- 
gusted. Since then I have improved these conditions in the following 
manner : 



152 THE SIMPLE SIMON-PURE 

From an instruction book, never used, I cut an exact representa- 
tion of the keyboard, and placed it before myself on a small stand. 
Instead of looking at the keyboard, I watched the diagram for any 
letters that would not come readily. It came hard at first, but 
perseverance in that, as it does in everything else, soon brought 
results and at the present writing I write comfortably at the machine 
without bothering about the keyboard and with thoughts free and 
uninterrupted — and this without any commercial school or other 
similar training. I do not cite this as a very great accomplishment, 
but to show that typing may be made a pleasure and direct-to- 
machine-transcribing may be pursued with entire comfort and per- 
fect transcribing of the thoughts. In fact, if anything, I am a great 
deal more efficient since I left the old method of writing with paper 
and pencil. 

Sitting back against the chair instead of leaning forward over 
the work did away almost entirely with the premature tired feeling 
and when I leave off work now, it is only because of the natural 
tiredness entailed by the long " grind." 

It is decidedly worth every writer's while to learn automatic 
writing — that is, touch writing. It makes a pleasure of typing, does 
away with trying to do two things at once — thinking and writing, — 
and makes the work neater and more speedy of production. 

There has been a little controversy over the two modes of com- 
posing — pad and pencil, and on the machine. Anyone who has done 
the former knows full well its objections of writing, interpreting and 
rewriting, while the significant fact is that most of the old-timers at 
the game compose directly on the machine. There is some talk about 
the distracting influence of the clatter of the type bars. Perhaps this 
is justified at first in the case of a new machine, but as the user con- 
tinues this method he will find that they distract him less, and later 
will find that the music of that clatter is a necessary accompaniment 
to his writing ! 

The following story, which appears in The Westminster Gazette, 
London, is going the rounds of the continental papers. That it has 
been copied in various Teutonic papers shows that the war has not 
killed their sense of humor. 

A German and a Dane met recently in Schiller's house in Weimar. 
As they stood gazing reverently on the scene the German, swelling 
with pride, remarked to his fellow- visit or, "So this is where our 
national poet, Schiller, lived." 

"Pardon me," said the other; "not national, but international." 

"How so?" asked the German, with surprise. 

"Why, consider his works," the Dane replied. "He wrote 
'Mary Stuart' for the English, 'The Maid of Orleans' for the French, 
'Egmont' for the Dutch, 'William Tell' for the Swiss " 

"And what did he write for the Germans, pray?" broke in the 
other. 

Pat came the Dane's answer: "For the Germans he wrote 
'The Robbers.'" 



Letters to Young Authors 

SIXTEENTH LETTER 

My Dear Lin: 

When your good parents named you after Lindley Murray they 
doubtless did not intend that you should ever have to ask of their old 
comrade, "What is a sentence?" But, raillery aside, my boy, I con- 
gratulate you upon making sure of this little point while you are still 
in your 'teens, for I have often seen the writings of those who neg- 
lected to settle the question until they had published their first 
novels — at their own expense. 

A sentence is like an unbroken colt — charged with untold pos- 
sibilities. The only rider who can predict its destination is he who 
has a good seat, holds an experienced rein, and looks ahead. Your 
young fancy may invent other comparisons at pleasure — from the 
tone of your letter I judge that most of them might be doleful. 

When I was a lad I cordially hated English Grammar — chiefly, 
I now think, because my teacher did not allow me to reason about 
the why of things, but set before me a penitential book, bound in 
forbidding black, and bearing the name of Bullion. I saw no aptitude 
in that author's name, you may be assured. But later I came to see 
that the countless forms into which, say, fifty selected words may be 
turned make up a puzzle problem as fascinating as any ever sold in 
a novelty shop. So I have wondered, sometimes, whether the same 
boys and girls whose constructive abilities are challenged by " Erec- 
tors," dissected pictures, and like useful games, could not be made to 
see how much fun it is to take two words, put them together so as 
to make them express a thought, and then by adding word after word 
make changes and improvements in what is said until the whole stands 
as complete as a palace. Sounds simple, doesn't it, Lin? 

Well, I am not jesting. It can be done. Some rare teachers are 
doing it day by day, and they are opening up delightful fields to their 
pupil-friends — fields which are sure all their lives long to yield new 
things to the seekers. 

You'll not mind my repeating at the start much that you know? 
It may help me make clear just what you do not understand. 

Single words are the units of ideas. A single word is enough to 
express a single idea — I am not going to deal with school-book terms 
except as I have to. For example, black carries from you to me an 
idea which needs no definition. Now let us see how this very general 
idea is narrowed to something definite when we add the word cloud — 
black cloud. What have we done? We have called up a mental pic- 
ture, more definite than the first, but we have done no more than 
make a suggestion. Anything we add further mentally is from our 
own imaginations — it does not exist in the two words. 

Now this is the simplest form of language. A baby begins to 
talk so. He has learned that his brother is called a boy, and also 
that when brother is rough with him he is said to be bad, so when 
the child wishes to assert that his brother is bad he simply names 
the two ideas — bad boy, or perhaps boy bad. This suggests that 
brother is bad but it does not actually assert it. 



154 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

None of us could go much further than this in self-expression 
were it not that we have learned to use a number of words which 
express one of two things — either action or being, they say what an 
object, or an idea, does or is. 

With the possession of these two kinds of words — name words 
and action or being words — our ability to express ourselves increases 
tremendously. The basis of all intelligent speech is here: saying 
that, or questioning if, an object or an idea does or is something. In 
other words, when we have something to say we must have two things : 
a word to name the object or the idea we want to talk about, and 
another word to assert or question either an action or a being. 

These two kinds of words when put together with sense always 
express a thought in simple terms; hence we say that such words 
make a sentence — that is, make sense — for that is what the Latin 
root means. It does not matter that these words which name an 
idea or an object are called nouns when they are real names, and 
pronouns when they are a kind of substitute for real names — as Lin 
is a noun and you is a pronoun; nor does it matter that the words 
expressing action or being are called verbs; the important point is 
to remember that in every sentence we must have at least one word 
of each of these two kinds — a name word and an action or a being 
word, and that these two words must be set in an intelligent relation- 
ship to each other. 

All this may seem too primary; but wait. Let us begin with 
two such words, and by adding word after word, build up an example 
from which we may be able to deduce a non-school-book formula to 
guide you in building any kind of sentence, and knowing when it is 
complete. Perhaps there will be little need for explanations as we go 
along — if we take a tight grip on three facts: First, the really vital 
parts of any sentence are two — the thing, and what we say about it; 
second, each of these parts may contain other words which belong to 
it solely; third, when we have completely said what we have to say 
about our subject, the sentence is complete. 

The storm | rose. 

The autumn storm | rose in fury. 

The autumn storm, like a squadron of horse charging the enemy, | rose in 
fury. 

Moment by moment the autumn storm, like a squadron of horse in sheer 
joy of slaughter ruthlessly charging the enemy, | rose in fury. 

All sorts of variations, you see, are possible, but thus far we have 
built each addition upon the subject — the storm, and it is easy to 
see that all the words belonging to that subject have been subordi- 
nated to the one chief word, for the purpose of bringing out its idea 
clearly, forcibly, and completely. If we were to add other words or 
groups of words to storm we should want to choose them solely with 
the same purpose in view, for it would defeat our object were we to 
side-track attention from our big idea, or cover it out of sight with 
too many words. It is easy enough for the writer suddenly to dis- 
cover an interest in a subordinate idea and allow it to lead him on 
until his original purpose is lost in a maze of words. This error is so 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 155 

common that you can easily expand one of the specimen sentences 
to illustrate the folly. 

The same common-sense rule of keeping the big idea clearly 
uppermost will apply when we expand the action. In order to do this 
more clearly we had better express the subject or name idea quite 
simply. 

The autumn storm \ rose in fury, like the charge of a mad squadron of horse, 
trampling, thrusting, smiting, for sheer joy of the battle. 

But some sentences contain elements less simple — we may wish 
to make more than one assertion regarding more than one subject, 
yet keep one subject and one assertion in the foreground, because 
it is, for our purpose, the more important. 

The autumn storm | rose and the lowland streams \ were soon swollen. 

Here the second statement is the more important because we 
are concerned with what may result from the swollen streams. 

The autumn storm, which had been only half in earnest up till now, | rose in 
fury until the lowland streams \ were swollen and every bridge between Meredale 
and Ireton | was swept away. 

No matter how many statements you may put into your sen- 
tence, the one thing necessary is to see that no one of them wanders 
away but does its share in saying the chief thing you have in mind. 

It will help keep these smaller statements in good order if you 
make those which are causes lead up to those which are effects, as 
in the sentence just used as an example; or state the effect first and 
then show the causes, as in the following: 

Between Meredale and Ireton every bridge | was swept away, for the autumn 
storm | had been rising in fury until all the streams \ were swollen to reckless floods. 

It might interest you to shape and reshape these ideas, varying 
the single words but little, until you have gained mastery over many 
sentence forms. If you do this, let me utter one caution: Do not 
set off — punctuate — as a complete sentence a group of words which 
does not definitely finish either an assertion, an exclamation, or a 
question. 

Verb forms in ing are not enough to furnish the action or 
being backbone of a sentence, for the reason that an action or a being 
word must clearly express either an assertion or a question in order 
to enable the group of words which is organized around it to stand 
alone as a thing of complete sense, and therefore be a real sentence. 
For instance: 

Noticing the swollen condition of the streams, 
asserts nothing; it merely suggests, and calls for something to follow, 
as: 

Noticing the swollen condition of the streams, he \ feared for the bridges 
between Meredale and Ireton. 

Similarly, groups of words beginning with which, or while, or 
whereas, and not containing definite assertions or questions, do not 
make good sentences because they really belong to some expression 
which has gone before. You can readily supply antecedent expres- 
sions to each of the following imperfect groups : 

which accounted for the swollen streams. 

while every bridge had been swept away. 

whereas on the lowland road the bridges were all down. 



156 THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 

In the last two of these word-groups we have a subject and a 
statement about that subject, but since each group opens with a 
word that points back to another group of words which logically 
ought to precede it, we can easily see how much better it would be 
to keep together in a single sentence the ideas that naturally belong 
together, and exclude all others. When our ideas on one subject 
become too many to handle easily, we had better divide them into 
smaller groups, each organized about its own central idea. 

To be sure, my dear fellow, this is only the beginning of the 
sentence as a grammatical form, but it is the beginning. Fix these 
conceptions clearly in your mind and from them you can, by easy 
and interesting steps, go on to facility and accuracy in sentence 
making. It will both interest and pay you to practice recasting one 
sentence into as many forms as possible, being careful always to bring 
out the central idea with clearness, force, and what elegance you may. 

Faithfully your friend, 

Karl von Kraft. 



The Writer's Magazine Guide 

Compiled by Anne Scannell 'Neill 
FICTION 

"Zelig: the 'Best Short-Story Published in 1915, ' " Benjamin Rosen- 
blatt, Current Opinion, March, 1916. 

"The New French Kipling," The Literary Digest, March 4, 1916. 

"America and Americans in Recent German Fiction," Harvey W. 
Thayer, The Bookman, March, 1916. 

"List of New Books," The Dial, March 2, 1916. 

"Evasive Idealism," Joyce Kilmer, New York Times Magazine, 
March 5, 1916. 

"The Cream of German Literature," New York Evening Post Maga- 
zine, March 4, 1916. 

" German- Americans and German Literature," American Review of 
Reviews, March, 1916. 

"Definition of a Highbrow," Prof. Brander Matthews, New York 
Times Magazine, March 5, 1916. 

"War's Effect on Two Literary Masters — Gilbert Keith Chesterton, 
Anatole France, " New York Times Magazine, February 27, 1916. 
JOURNALISM 

"A Film Newspaper in the Making, " Alfred A. Cohn, The Photoplay, 
April, 1916. 

" Delane of the Times, " The New York Sun, March 5, 1916. 

"Seven Super-Pens," Arthur Brisbane, Frank Cobb, Robert F. Paine, 
and others, Everybody's, March, 1916. 

DRAMA 

"The Stage," Matthew White, Jr., Munsey, March, 1916. 

"On Recent Comedy and Drama," W. D. Howells, in "Editor's Easy 
Chair," Harper's, March, 1916. 



THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 157 

" Scenic Settings in America," Clayton Hamilton, The Bookman, 

March, 1916. 
" Rallying About Shakespeare," New York Evening Post Magazine, 

March 4, 1916. 
"Theatres Can Bar Critics," The Fourth Estate, February 26, 1916. 
"What is the Matter with American Drama?" Joyce Kilmer, New 

York Times Magazine, February 20, 1916. 

POETRY 

"Another Walt Whitman," The Literary Digest, March 4, 1916. 
"America's Golden Age in Poetry," in "Current Comment," The 

Century, March, 1916. 
"Portraits of the Greatest Living Poets of France," Amy Lowell, 

Current Opinion, March, 1916. 
"Voices of the Living Poets," Current Opinion, March, 1916. 
"Some Unpublished Papers of Robert and Elizabeth Browning," 

edited by George S. Hellman, Harper's, March, 1916. 

PHOTOPLAY 

"The Picture Battle in Congress," George Wentworth, The Photo- 
play, April, 1916. 

"Wanted — Moving Picture Authors," Walter Prichard Eaton, 
American Magazine, March, 1916. 

"Photoplay Faults," Octavus Roy Cohen, Pearson's, March, 1916. 

"The New Profession of Beauty," E. Lloyd Sheldon, The Delineator, 
March, 1916. 

"War Scenes that Never Happened," Edward C. Crossman, The 
Illustrated World, March, 1916. 

"The Black Magic of the Movie Screen," Charles W. Person, The 
Illustrated World, March, 1916. 

GENERAL ARTICLES 

"Preserving Our Balance," and "Faded Enthusiasms," in "Con- 
tributors' Club," The Atlantic Monthly, March, 1916. 

"Caste in Criticism," Harvey O'Higgins, The Century, March, 1916. 

"An English View of American Literary Criticism, " Edward Garnett, 
American Review of Reviews, March, 1916. 

"George Bernard Shaw: An Impression," Daniel A. Lord, S. J., The 
Catholic World, March, 1916. 

"The Persian Influence on European Literature," Charles Leonard 
Moore, The Dial, March 2, 1916. 

"The Sussex of Rudyard Kipling," William A. Young, The Bookman, 
March, 1916. 

"Bayard Taylor: Adventurer," Hamilton W. Mabie, The Bookman, 
March, 1916. 

"In the Homes of Romance," Beulah Marie Dix, Harper's Bazaar, 
March, 1916. 

"Why are My Photographs a Failure?" 0. L. Griffith, The Ladies' 
Home Journal, March, 1916. 

"What the Day's Work Means to Me," Ida M. Tarbell, The Book- 
man, March, 1916. 



158 IMPORTANT PHOTOPLAY FACTS 

"Personal Impressions of Henry James," Robert C. Holliday, New 

York Evening Post Magazine, March 4, 1916. 
" A Talk on the Essay, " Henry Mills Arden, in "The Editor's Study, " 

Harper's, March, 1916. 
"La Casa de Cervantes," Editorial, The New York Sun, February 

27, 1916. 
"Gertrude Atherton as Fiction Writer," H. W. Boynton, New York 

Evening Post Magazine, February 26, 1916. 



Important Photoplay Facts 

By E. M. Wickes 

The wise scenario writers pay very little attention to the adver- 
tisements that appear from time to time in various magazines calling 
for scenarios. So many wild-cat concerns spring up over night that 
one has to be careful in sending out work. The real information 
relative to genuine markets for scenarios is passed from one writer 
to another, and the writers obtain this information by taking the 
time and trouble to get in personal touch with editors and directors. 

At every meeting of "The Photodramatists " — formerly 
" The Ed-Au Club " — the members, including photoplaywrights, and 
scenario editors, give out any real information that they may have 
gleaned. If any particular company shows a lack of courtesy, or a 
tendency to be niggardly in remuneration, all the members are made 
acquainted with the facts. Editors who are willing to do business in 
a business-like manner are also brought up for discussion, and editors 
of this type usually have first readings of the members' work. 

The latest reports from the club members indicate that Biograph 
is in the market for three- and four-reel dramas — synopsis only; 
that Metro is willing to pay a hundred dollars a reel for features; 
synopsis or complete scenario; that the eastern and western offices 
of Vitagraph are looking for single-reel comedies and three- and four- 
reel dramas; that Mutual is buying a few three- and four-reel dramas; 
that the Equitable is ready to pay a thousand dollars for a five-reel 
synopsis with a strikingly original story. 

All scenarios intended for the Biograph Company should be 
sent to the western office, Gerard and Georgia Streets, Los Angeles, 
Cal. 

Mr. Proctor, editor of Gaumont, announced at the recent meet- 
ing of the Ed-Au Club that he was ready to pay one hundred dollars 
a reel for three-, four- and five-reel features, synopses or complete 
scenarios. If you play the game according to the rules and do not 
receive courteous treatment, just notify the editor of this magazine 
and he will have the matter brought to the attention of the members 
of the Ed-Au Club. 



Thinks /^\Tm in gs 



Mr. Leeds has resigned his position as Editor of Scripts for Thomas A. Edison, Inc., in 
order to return to freelance writing. As an active member of " The Photodramatists," "The Play- 
wrights' Club," "The Society of American Dramatists and Composers," and kindred organizations, 
he is in a position to give our readers the benefit of the latest information on matters touching 
the photoplay and the drama. 

By Arthur Leeds 

Most readers of this magazine are familiar with the name, as well 
as the aim, of the organization which, up till a few weeks ago, was 
known as "The Ed-Au Club." Started in October, 1913, by a little 
group of photoplay writers and editors, together with a few directors, 
it proved from the very first to be just what a great many workers in 
the field of the photoplay had been waiting for. There had been 
clubs and societies for writers of fiction and verse, as well as for those 
interested in legitimate play writing, but except at chance meetings of 
members of the craft, but little opportunity had been offered mem- 
bers of the script-writing fraternity to get together and talk over 
matters of mutual interest. It was natural, then, that eligible writers 
hastened to join the new club as soon as they learned of its formation. 
But at that time, and until quite recently, only those writers who had 
ten or more produced scripts to their credit were eligible for mem- 
bership. That this condition of entry into the organization has 
recently been changed is due to the fact that the officers realize that 
to have to one's credit two or three really ambitious multiple-reel 
"features" is quite as good evidence of a writer's ability — and there- 
fore eligibility — as to be able to say that one had written and had 
produced ten of the one-reel or possibly split-reel stories that were in 
vogue at the time this club was formed. Also, as is pretty generally 
known, many companies at the present time are buying synopses 
only, or at any rate are willing to accept a well-written synopsis in 
place of the complete script — in fact they prefer the synopsis unless 
the writer is an experienced scenario constructionist — and for that 
reason the club's officers see good reason for making the conditions of 
entry more elastic than heretofore. 

Again, it is the desire of the club to add to its list of members the 
names of men and women who, if not actually photodramatists, are 
genuinely interested, in one way or another, in this new and distinc- 
tive branch of literature. This, of course, does not refer to mere pic- 
ture-play patrons, but to professional critics, as well as to those legiti- 
mate dramatists and fiction writers who have as yet gone no farther 
than to submit synopses of their plays and stories. While there are a 
great many fiction and dramatic writers of prominence who are con- 
tent merely to submit synopses, it is also true that many members of 
the Authors' League of America, the Society of American Dramatists, 
The Playwrights' Club, and other similar organizations are interested 
in learning the actual technique of the photoplay, realizing that, unless 



160 THINKS AND THINGS 

a company insists on " synopsis only," the writer stands a much 
better chance of having his play put on just as he conceived it if he is 
able to supply the director with a complete, properly prepared 
scenario, which shows an intimate knowledge of photoplay stage 
limitations as well as a knowledge of the camera's possibilities. 

About a year ago, when I, with some other members, suggested 
changing the name of the club, on the ground that many people might 
not understand what the name "Ed-Au" stood for, the motion was 
voted down, but it has since been found that the old name was a 
puzzle to a great many people, and now, the club having just been 
incorporated, the name has been changed, and the organization will 
henceforth be known as "The Photodramatists. " This name is felt 
to be at once thoroughly self-explanatory and dignified — in keeping 
with the object of the club. 

Even those who read the trade papers regularly, whether they are 
connected with a studio or not, are aware of the fact that at present 
the whole film industry is being turned completely inside out. " Fly- 
by-night" concerns are going out of business, and the old established 
firms are waking up to the fact that the wastage in the studio must be 
ended. I have repeatedly pointed out how the manufacturers are at 
last being made to realize that "the play's the thing," as a result of 
which they are one and all looking about for good, well-written stories, 

for which, with the exception of the , , 

and Companies (writers familiar with the game 

may fill in the blanks to suit themselves), they are all paying much 
better prices than ever before. Along with this resolve to get the best 
stories and pay for them, has come a decided tendency to sand-bag 
certain directors and forcibly take from them the carte-blanche which, 
in the past, they have so grossly misused. In fact, the time has come 
when the script writer who is both earnest and ambitious may without 
hesitation assume the title of " photodramatist, " and may even feel 
that he is in relatively the same position, in the field of the motion 
picture, as is the dramatist, as distinguished from the playwright, in 
the field of the legitimate drama. 

In this connection, the distinction between the dramatist and the 
playwright was recently pointed out by Dr. Louis K. Anspacher, the 
author of "The Unchastened Woman," now running at the Maxine 
Elliott Theatre, New York, in an impromptu address at a meeting of 
the Society of American Dramatists. In telling of meeting, while in 
England, with Rudolf Besier, the author of "Don" and "Lady 
Patricia," Dr. Anspacher said that Besier had remarked that, in his 
opinion, America was a nation of playwrights rather than of drama- 
tists. And both these dramatic craftsmen agree that the playwright 
starts with a more or less fully developed plot, whereas the dramatist 
invariably starts with a character, then building his plot so as to 
develop and round out this characterization to the fullest extent. Thus 
(although except to illustrate my point no comparison is intended) 
Shakespeare was, first and last, a true dramatist, while scores of 
modern writers of "story plays" are essentially playwrights. Inci- 
dentally, and returning to the subject of clubs, this is no reflection on 



THINKS AND THINGS 161 

The Playwrights' Club, among whose members, as I well know, are 
many genuine dramatists. 

"The Photodramatists, " then, is a club composed not merely of 
writers who have mastered the trick of stringing a few dramatic inci- 
dents together to form a salable story; its members all realize the 
wonderful possibilities of the screen drama, and are, one and all, 
striving to write photodramas with striking, clean-cut characteriza- 
tions as well as logically worked out and interesting plots. They are 
working hard to become expert craftsmen in a new field of literary 
endeavor. Every reader of The Writer's Monthly who has met 
with success in selling material for screen production is invited to 
make application for membership. The initiation fee is only two 
dollars, with yearly dues — payable half-yearly — of six dollars. The 
officers of the club are now negotiating for a permanent home in a 
centrally located office building. Until the new rooms are ready, the 
club will meet twice a month in the beautifully furnished and commo- 
dious projection rooms of the Balboa Film Company, in the Mecca 
Building, 1600 Broadway. Here it will be possible to run certain 
films, the technical details of which we may wish to discuss and 
criticise. Arrangements are now being made with a prominent literary 
agent — who specializes in motion picture scripts and who knows the 
market thoroughly — to handle as much of the work of members as 
they may choose to offer in this way, instead of marketing it for them- 
selves. Photodramatists in New York City and vicinity may learn, 
by addressing the secretary, the date of the next meeting, and will be 
made welcome if they care to pay us a visit. All applications for 
membership should be addressed to the secretary, Mrs. Mary Louise 
Farley, 607 West 136th Street, New York City. If you are anxious to 
get in touch with the writers, editors and directors who are really 
doing things in the world of the photodrama, now is the time to apply 
for membership. 

So many writers and editors have spoken of the foolish practice 
of amateurs in sending manuscripts addressed to the editor personally, 
instead of to the scenario department or magazine editorial depart- 
ment, that it would seem unnecessary to add to what has been said. 
But I should like to remind script writers that they, especially, should 
refrain from addressing the editors personally, unless they are person- 
ally acquainted with him — or her, as "she" is in a few cases. Not 
only does it gain nothing to send to the editor, addressing him by 
name, but it may lead to delay in the handling of your script. Since 
leaving the Edison Company, I get, on an average, a dozen scripts a 
day, which come to my home, addressed to me personally, but in 
"care of the Edison Company." Since I get over to the Edison 
studio only about twice a week, there is a delay of a few days, at least, 
before the scripts reach the department for which they were intended. 
When scripts come to me with postage due, I simply refuse to accept 
them, and they go back to the writers without even being opened. 

Apart from the folly of sending to the editor personally, it is time 
that those writers who will insist upon sending scripts out without 
attaching sufficient postage were taught a lesson. In most scenario 



162 THINKS AND THINGS 

departments, at the present time, the rule is to refuse to accept 
scripts from the postman when postage is due upon them. That is as 
it should be; only the most ingorant amateur would neglect this 
important selling point. 

A. H. Woods, the theatrical manager, has taken the first act of a 
play called "The Promise," the second act of a play called "The 
Chain," and the third act of one called "Think It Over," and has 
reconstructed them into what he thinks is a consistent and powerful 
drama. The title of the new play, according to the New York Evening 
Telegram, has not been decided upon, as each of the three playwrights 
insists on the name of his play being retained. Mr. Woods calls this 
the Luther Burbank school of dramatic composition. But let not 
Mr. Woods think that in "pulling off" this "literary stunt" he is 
doing anything novel. He has already been "beaten to it " by approxi- 
mately nine-hundred and ninety-nine so-called "original" photo- 
playwrights. In fact, neither in the United States nor in Universal 
City is it possible to find a writer of photoplays who has not, at one 
time or another, been a pupil in the Burbank school of which Mr. 
Woods speaks. If any alleged photoplaywrights insist that they have 
never, no never, done such a thing, just tell them to go to; their 
speech is not sooth. In lopping off a limb of another man's literary 
tree, they may, and generally do, either peel the bark off or strip it of 
leaves, or something of the kind, but the real wood — the situation — 
is there none the less. Angels and ministers of grace! if we were to be 
denied this privilege what would become of those hardy annuals 
known as staff writers, who are often called upon at four o'clock of 
one day to have a multiple-reel story ready by the following morning, 
so that a prominent stage star who has just been recruited into the 
"movies" may be put to work without a hold-up. "Grafting" is a 
part of the game, dear child, in both the scenario and the executive 
offices of many companies. There are more plots in heaven and 
earth, Horatio, than ever came out of your own note-book. 

Writing in Moving Picture Stories, the conductor of the "Scenario 
Hints" department points out how many of the producers are at last 
beginning to realize that the obviously "padded" feature picture has 
gone a long way toward bringing about any general dissatisfaction 
with the films that may exist at the present time. It was so easy for a 
director to take several hundred feet of "scenic" stuff, or — if the lead- 
ing woman happened to be his wife or sweetheart, as often happened — 
to work in numerous "close-ups" of the female lead, often with very 
pleasing effect, but in no way adding to the strength of the story, or 
even assisting in its logical working out. He quotes Mr. George 
Kleine, who has, for one, come out with a strong statement against 
the padded story: "We want our subjects to be strong enough to 
build, say, seven reels upon them, and then we want to reduce them to 
five reels before sending the feature out. As an example, ' Du Barry ' 
was thirteen reels without titles, and we reduced it to six thousand 
five hundred feet with titles. 'The Money Master' was ten reels, 
which we cut down to five. When we don't get one hundred per cent 
in our features, it is not the result of careless handling or neglect, but 



THINKS AND THINGS 163 

simply an error of judgment or some other cause. " Which shows that 
George Kleine, at least, has the right idea. The "padded" feature 
has done more to drive the regular patrons away from the picture 
theatres than almost any other cause. It is time for a change. Doing 
away with the old-fashioned arbitrary lengths for stories, instead of 
letting them run on to a logical conclusion, whether in twelve hundred 
feet or three thousand and thirty-seven, will help a whole lot. 

Bide Dudley, who conducts the theatrical news department in 
the New York World, recently broke into the comedy script writing 
game. After going through the experiences with directors that so 
many writers have met, he delivered himself of the following, a la 
Walt Mason: 

I wrote a film scenario in which a man I christened 
Joe took off his hat, while on the street, and bowed, as 
passed a maiden sweet. They bought my script and then 
it went unto an editor, a gent who said that Joe should 
never bow. Said he: "It's useless, anyhow." He took 
poor Joe and had him turn into a store and buy a churn. 
My script was then submitted to a film director fellow who 
at once began to shake his head. "Joe shouldn't buy that 
churn, " he said. He had Joe go next door and buy a great 
big drink of rock and rye. "It's now consistent," said the 
man. " We'll follow out the drinking plan. " All right! They 
started turning cranks. The funny man yelled: "Wait! 
No thanks! I'll have to kick about that drink. Joe ought to 
smash his hat, I think." So Joe, who'd started out to greet 
a lady on a public street, became the village drunk instead, 
a broken hat upon his head. They showed the film. I heard 
each say: " It ought to be the other way. " I merely smiled, 
for I'm no crank. I put my money in the bank and when 
my friends would tell me they had seen my film I'd smile 
and say unto myself: "Brace up, old chap! You got the 
cash. Why care a rap?" 



A Writer's Prayer 

Mrs. E. W. Dennstedt 

Guide my pen, Thou Master Workman, 
Touch with living fire each line — 

Only thus may human message 

Bear the stamp of touch divine. 

Lead me e'en among the shadows, 
Make me kin to those who weep, 

That I may with touch unerring 
Pen the vigils others keep. 




immrnmrnmsTwrnrnm 



The Word 
Dage_ 




Conducted by the Editor 



In this little Department will be found from month to month such notes, observations, and 
criticisms on the values and uses of words as may be contributed, or provided by the Staff of The 
Wbitek's Monthly. No offerings can be considered that are not brief, pungent, and accurate. 
Not alone the authoritative word-books but also good usage will be taken as the standard. 



The physician does not try to cure a symptom, but looks for the 
cause. No more should the writer act as though his chief concern 
were with words, instead of with ideas, those greater things of which 
words are but the symbols. 

It is a common thing to find devotees of the pen trying earnestly 
to make their language stronger, or more beautiful, or more striking, 
whereas their first concern should be to think strong, beautiful, or 
striking thoughts — and then take pains to clothe them with perfectly 
fitting words. The search for the right word is admirable only when 
there is an idea worth uttering. We understand when a metropolitan 
society man is concerned that his evening clothes should fit, but the 
same anxiety would be ludicrous in a Hottentot. 

I suspect that it is this same mistaken notion — that clothes will 
make a man — which, in another application, causes so many young 
writers to be fond of high-flown language. Their thoughts are not 
lofty, but, they say, hifalutin words are a good substitute; there is no 
real poetry in their ideas, but highly ornamented language will answer 
as well, they think. Yet, to be more just, these are not their real 
opinions — doubtless the truth is that they wish their thoughts to be 
high and poetic, and so fall into the human — and pathetic — error of 
supposing that wishing makes them so. Hamlet rebuked the identical 
heresy in the strolling players when they tore a passion to tatters to 
simulate emotion. 

Does not this common mistake account for the free use of poetic 
words in prose? When Miss Prim would be what my good mother 
used to call "nasty nice," she purses her lips and says " whilst," and 
" hither," and "erstwhile," and feels certain that her fine speech 
stamps her as being super-elect. 

There are only two types of prose in which highly poetic diction 
may properly be used — in those lofty passages of serious discourse in 
which nobility of thought demands a high sort of utterance; and 
when we caricature, or are playful. The great orators have always 
used poetic words, though only in impassioned moments. The jes- 
ters, too, love to poke fun at the toploftical by imitating their high- 
sounding periods. 

To put on is the sure mark of impoverished thought — only they 
pretend who have to. 

Simple words are nearly always best. A thinker of strong 
thoughts chooses words to match them, but it ought to be plain to any 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 165 

student of writing that a powerful arrangement of simple words makes 
strong expression. So too of beauty, grace, humor, pathos, and any 
mood whatever. Yet there are times — many times, if one may trust 
himself not to abuse the privilege — when a Latinistic word compacts 
within itself several ideas which it would require a group of simpler 
words to express so well. Now and then elegance must be preferred 
to force. That is a silly dictum — it can never be a respectable rule — 
which Says, " Always prefer Anglo-Saxon words." Those who pride 
themselves on following it are either self-deceived or else fall short of 
variety in diction. Yet, be it repeated, it is surely best to use Latin 
derivatives with a sparing pen, for no style is quite so ridiculous as a 
pompous one. 

If I should rewrite all the things I have had printed since I was 
fourteen I should have to turn my back on many a word I loved in 
younger days. In some things I was not well taught, though I was in 
most. Of the very modern writers I knew almost nothing until I was 
perhaps twenty — Shakespeare, Addison, Defoe, Scott, Hawthorne, 
Irving and Cooper, with many lesser lights, were my favorites, though 
of course I read miles of boys' favorites too. But on the stately style 
my young mind was fed, and, to tell the truth, I am not sorry now, for 
it is easy enough to lose one's taste for Georgian and Victorian Eng- 
lish if one reads only the present-day novelists. 

What I am trying to say, however, is this : there is a safe middle 
ground in diction which goes between the big-worded worthies of 
earlier generations and the journalistic style of nowadays. One may 
find it in the English of such well-grounded writers as Stevenson, 
George Gissing, Weir Mitchell, and Mrs. Wharton, whose words are 
Latin or Saxon as the need demands, and whose style is neither 
ponderous nor flippant, but at once flexible and solid. 



Help for Song Writers 

The High Class Composition 
By E. M. Wickes 

Some persons get the impression that the term "song writing" 
applies only to popular songs, whereas it includes high class songs, 
hymns, and, in fact, all verse intended for a musical setting. 

The reason for the publicity given to popular song writing is that 
it offers such large rewards for so little actual labor; and furthermore, 
a popular song is intended for the masses, and the demand for a 
commodity that appeals to the masses will always exceed by far 
something of a similar nature that has been produced for the classes. 

Before taking up song writing anyone should find out the form of 
composition for which he is best suited, and that will be largely indi- 
cated by which one most appeals to him. To master any one form 
requires a great deal of time, study, and practice, and no person should 



166 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

try to become an expert in all before he has become thoroughly famil- 
iar with one. Even well-known popular song writers realize that their 
creative ability is limited to one particular style, and of this style they 
make a specialty, instead of trying to be a sort of a jack-of-all trades. 
If men who know the full workings of the popular song game see the 
folly of trying to go beyond one type, how much more so will it be for 
the tyro, who usually attempts to write all the different styles of 
popular songs, as well as high class numbers and hymns. 

In order to write salable ragtime songs you have to learn how to 
think and dream in a ragtime groove. You will have to acquire a 
sense of ragtime rhythm, and once you become saturated with it you 
will not be able to do much in the way of high class ballads, much less 
hymns. Any one who has ever tried to learn a foreign language knows 
what a task it is to speak it correctly until he has learned to think in 
that language. 

Most of the publishers of high class songs are willing to consider 
manuscripts from outsiders, but, of course they will not accept any- 
thing unless it measures up to their standards. In offering work to a 
high class publisher an author should send in a complete song — words, 
music, and piano accompaniment — otherwise it will not receive much 
consideration. The best way for a beginner is to find out if certain 
firms purchase from outside writers, then secure a number of their 
published songs and study them carefully. This will cost a few 
dollars, but the music will become your tools, and every artist has to 
purchase some tools, and, in fact, keep on purchasing them. 

You might also ask the publisher to send you a catalogue. In it 
you are likely to find pieces that are intended for juvenile entertain- 
ments, or for general receptions. Publishers use this sort of material 
from year to year, and if you can offer the kind that will appeal to 
others you should be able to find a market. Practice pieces for musi- 
cal students are also always in demand. Of course, you will not 
become wealthy or famous from writing little reception numbers or 
practice pieces, but a few acceptances will add to 3^our courage and 
confidence and possibly open other markets. If you have an iota of 
real creative ability and really desire to sell your work, you will even- 
tually find a purchaser, and nothing but death will stop you. 

The themes in high class songs adhere to the esthetic side of life, 
mostly to love in its ideal state. The publishers do not care for catch 
lines, and they do not insist that your title be powerful enough to stop 
a show. You need not have a complete story dealing with persons, 
as you would in a popular song, for scores of songs issued by the high 
class houses carry numbers that treat of flowers, the various seasons, 
or even birds. "The Meadow Lark Is Calling," "I Feel the Spring- 
time's Gladness," could be available for high class songs, but whether 
they would appeal to a publisher would depend upon the amount of 
sentiment and poetry that the writer would inject into them. If you 
can mingle a delicate or a strong human interest with the nature 
theme, all the better. 

Lovers of high class songs are indifferent as to whether a song 
carries a chorus or not, whereas in popular songs the chorus is nine- 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 167 

tenths of the song. However, if you should have a strong refrain three 
is no reason why you should not use it with a high class ballad. Some- 
times the last two lines of each stanza are repeated in lieu of a chorus. 
The average length of the lyric in a high class number is two 
stanzas, each stanza carrying from four to eight lines. It is not uncom- 
mon to see a lyric with one stanza and no refrain. Such songs, being 
short, are generally used as encore selections. 

The irregular meters and faulty rhymes so prevalent in popular 
songs are not tolerated by high class houses. You must not lose sight 
of the fact that these songs are intended for educated persons, and the 
best way to obtain an inkling as to what will appeal to them is to 
study the kind of songs any particular house has been in the habit of 
buying — or study a few numbers from half a dozen publishers. 

Some publishers make a practice of issuing songs in the spring and 
fall, and when you discover one that adopts this policy you should 
offer your musical wares in the summer and winter — about three 
months ahead of the publication season. A good song is sometimes 
returned as a result of having been submitted at the wrong time, for 
publishers do not like to over-stock on manuscripts; and besides, a 
new season may bring with it a new type of demand. 

Euphony and clarity are just as essential in high class songs as 
they are in the popular numbers. Simplicity will never weaken your 
work, although you may indulge in figurative language in high class 
songs to a greater extent than in popular lyrics, as you have a more 
intelligent class of people to please; but in your efforts to introduce 
variety, with figures of speech, do not make your phrasing too archaic 
or heavy. Even educated folk revel at times in lighter emotions. 

A wise plan for the inexperienced writer is to keep close to the 
love motive, whether it be happy or unhappy love. But do not drag 
in maudlin affection, for — whether this notion be correct or incorrect 
— such an element is supposed to be unknown to cultured minds. In 
love themes, aim at idealism rather than at realism. 

There is a clear-cut distinction between a hymn and a sacred song, 
such as fills the Sunday-school song book, the evangelistic song book, 
and the special service leaflets which are used for occasions like Christ- 
mas, Easter, Children's Day, and Rally Day. It is absolutely neces- 
sary for the writer to grasp this difference if sales are to be achieved. 

A true hymn always contains an address to the Deity, whereas a 
sacred song is a lyric which dwells upon some phase of religious experi- 
ence, or consists of an appeal to some class of people — the religious or 
the irreligious. " Nearer, my God, to Thee" is purely a hymn; 
"Brighten the Corner Where You Are" — used so much in the Billy 
Sunday campaigns — is a sacred song. Even " Onward Christian 
Soldiers," though contained in nearly every church hymn book, is 
not strictly a hymn. Neither is "Sweet Hour of Prayer." 

While sacred songs of high poetic merit which contain no direct 
praise of or prayer to the Deity occasionally creep into the hymn book 
because of their wide appeal, of both words and music, these are 
notable exceptions, for the compiling of a church hymn book is 



168 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

always a long task, usually covering years, and is in the hands of a 
committee of experienced and exacting hymnologists who do not 
admit new work except in extraordinary circumstances. 

For the foregoing reasons it is the popular sacred song collections 
and the festival service leaflets that offer almost the only markets for 
sacred lyrics. Make a careful study of these before writing. 

Sacred song writing does not promise much in the way of remu- 
neration, but, as a popular writer once sang, " Every little bit added to 
what you have, makes just a little bit more. " Besides, writing gives 
you practice, and, to use a bromide, practice makes perfection. Then 
again, some persons prefer to write for glory, and the possible good 
that they may do. 

A sacred song is supposed to be inspiring and uplifting — though 
some are most dolorous. It should have a strong title around which 
the story or the " sermon" should be built. Do not select a title, then 
take your Bible and extract a number of phrases. Offer something 
original, or give an old idea new treatment. The fundamental ideas of 
some of the sacred lyrics that have become nationally popular could be 
altered, rephrased, and then enjoy a second life. And all of this could 
be done without purloining any of the original author's work. Read 
old songs until they suggest new ideas. 

Hundreds of gospel song books are issued annually, and some one 
supplies the songs. The publishers are always looking for new and 
fresh material, and if you think you can supply some you will do well 
to get in touch with them. 

The average sacred song, words and music, brings only from five to 
ten dollars, though some of the popular writers get twenty dollars and 
more. However, a prolific writer can sell a considerable number every 
year. He need not limit his output to hymns and songs suitable for 
grown persons, for there is a brisk market for Sunday-school songs, 
which are more or less hymns. The majority of publishers like to 
purchase the separate verse, but if you are capable of writing words 
and music, do so. Some music composers buy words from writers, 
supply the music, and then market the complete hymn or song. From 
two to five dollars is the price for a sacred lyric. 

Faith, Hope, and Love are favorite themes for hymns. Courage 
and Cheer are much dwelt upon. In fact, any uplifting idea will serve. 

Bear in mind that the song which does not confine itself to any 
one sect will stand a better chance of finding a purchaser. As in a 
popular song, you should aim to appeal to the universe. It is 
rather a peculiar fact that a number of the most popular sacred songs 
carry a march tempo, probably due to the warlike note so often struck 
in the Christian religion. 

If you happen to be a black sheep, do not give a chronological 
record of your sins in the sacred song. While singing, a congregation, 
or at least the greater part of it, likes to live and feel the thoughts 
expressed in the song; it is unlikely that all of them are black sheep, 
so, not being of your hue, they would not find any comfort in singing a 
song of this sort. Be cheerful, praise the Lord, ask His graces — He 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 169 

knows just how black your soul is, so don't announce the fact. 

The verses in hymns and sacred songs should follow the laws of 
poetry. Broken meters are not allowed. Perfect rhymes should be 
employed. This is true of the stanza as well as of the chorus. Choruses 
are usually found only in Sunday-school and evangelistic songs. 

Many of the religious publications are in the market for verse 
that possesses the hymn element. The Sunday School Times, Phila- 
delphia, Pa., uses a poem in the form of a prayer in every issue, and 
pays something like fifty cents a line. Readers interested in hymns 
and verse of this sort will do well to obtain a copy, for each issue con- 
tains advertisements of publishers of hymns and sacred song books. 

Every writer is keenly interested in selling what he writes, so a 
most important part of writing is the selling; yet hundreds of writers 
do not pay half enough attention to the marketing — systematic 
marketing — of their wares. Some writers think that the only real 
markets are located in New York, so there they send all their work, 
whereas if they would but take the time and trouble to canvass their 
own town, they might sell right at their own doors. Perhaps the 
pastor of your church may be arranging for a special service and is in 
need of a new hymn, or a wealthy pillar of the church may be plan- 
ning to give the children a treat and does not know where to obtain a 
suitable song for them to sing. You will never know what they do 
require unless you keep in touch with them, just as the big writers 
keep in touch with the big markets. This offers in many instances a 
good beginning. 

For writers capable of turning out cheerful bits of high class verse 
suitable for Christmas, Easter, Valentine day, and birthdays, there is 
a wide market. Thousands of post cards bearing cheerful messages 
are printed every year, and it is nothing unusual for a card manufac- 
turer to order one hundred or one hundred and fifty verses at a time, 
paying one or two dollars for each one. For several years one song 
writer in New York averaged something like six hundred dollars every 
year on post cards, and he spent less than a month on the entire work. 

Markets of this sort can be created where they never existed 
before. There may be in your own town a large concern that never 
thought of sending out a greeting to its customers. The greeting 
need not be a card; it might be offered in the form of a calendar with 
a cheerful message, or in the shape of a little booklet. Go to the 
manager and show him the good effect that a poetic greeting of this 
sort would have on his patrons, explaining that the average person 
likes to think that a manager or a company has a kind thought for its 
customers, even when they are not actually purchasing goods. Then 
when you have him thinking in this way, suggest that you know just 
the sort of material that will make a good impression. The first man 
may not fall in with your plan, but whether he does or not, try out 
every one within a reasonable distance. Make your own opportuni- 
ties — that is one of the secrets of selling literary material. And while 
you are doing it, the other fellow will sit back in his chair biting his 
nails, and, to use slang will wonder how you get away with it. 




Contributions to this department are solicited. Paragraphs must be brief and the material 
based not on theory but on experience in any branch of pencraft. Mutual helpfulness and a wide 
range of subjects are the standards we have set for Experience Meeting. 

Here are three excellent ways of fastening the needful but 
worrisome stamp to our MS. : Get the postmaster to sell you the 
outer row from his big stamp sheet, which gives you a white margin 
with its gum. This line of gummed paper may be fastened down 
while the stamp is left absolutely loose. Or, buy a box of the tiniest 
pins, such as fasten ribbon bolts at the stores or bolts of tape — pins 
less than half an inch long. These make such wee holes that they 
do not mar the paper and are perfectly safe in the mails. Or, put a 
very small clip over the upper ends of the sheets and, under this, on 
the front page, slip the stamp. — Lee McCeae. 

Carrying the pet typewriter is just a simple little stunt that may 
be of use to the traveling writer. For some years I have worried 
along either carrying by hand, or paying express charges on my 
machine whenever I moved about, for I am so attached to my Blank 
typewriter that I do not think I can endure working on a machine 
of another make. There were delays and worries wherever I went 
until at last I stumbled on the little trick I now employ. I place my 
typewriter in my steamer trunk and pack about it. I have cut out 
a section of the bottom of the tray, just the shape of the machine, so 
that when it is in place the typewriter cannot move either backward 
or forward or sideways. With the tray filled, some clothing placed 
on the top of the machine as it sticks up through the hole in the 
tray, and the trunk top closed, my pet is safe and traveling with me 
at no extra expense or worry. — C. Doty Hob art. 

Up to a year ago I thought that, if an article — excellent in style, 
diction, typing, and accompanied by self-addressed stamped en- 
velope — should be held by an editor for nine or ten weeks, acceptance 
was sure, but later experience has taught me that there is nothing 
sure in this literary game, except the check in hand. In rare instances, 
even that has not been cashable! However, of one thing one may 
be sure: long detentions bespeak merit in the script. Manuscripts 
that are altogether impossible are usually sent back at once. 

I had a photo-comedy retained by a reliable film company for 
four months. Then it came back with only a simple rejection slip. 

I had a short humorous story returned a few days ago that had 
been held by one of our best magazines for three months. With it 
was enclosed a nice apologetic letter for the long detention, saying 
that the story had been passed upon favorably by the first reader, 
and that the editor had just been able to pass upon it — he was sorry, 
but it was not quite in line with the stories they used. I prized that 



EXPERIENCE MEETING 171 

letter greatly, as I felt it bespoke merit in my work. So I lost no 
time in mailing the script again. 

Before mailing a script it is best to make a list of possible markets, 
sending first to the most feasible; much knowledge of the character 
of work each periodical uses is necessary to give that nice discrimina- 
tion so invaluable to the writer. — Mary E. Foster. 

I have found that the editors who do not indicate a set price for 
the manuscript, or their regular rate per word, when accepting a 
manuscript, have never treated me fairly after publication. Conse- 
quently, I have decided not to let any manuscript pass into the 
editor's possession unless I am assured of a definite sum. The most 
substantial publications make an offer at the time of acceptance; but 
if all authors demanded an understanding, there would be no heart- 
breaking disappointments in store for the beginner. — B. Scott. 

My experience proves that it pays to read publications for 
writers. I subscribe for two and they are worth many times more 
than they cost. First, I get a great deal of help, from the general articles, 
the value of which I cannot estimate in dollars and cents, Second, 
I glean useful suggestions from the personal experience-articles of 
writers. In my opinion, there are too few of these published. Perhaps 
it is because but few are submitted. Third, the market hints mean 
real money. I never sold a thing until I submitted work following 
suggestions in the market departments of the literary journals I read, 
one of which is The Writer's Monthly. To date, I have never sold 
a short-story. I am just a plodding worker, but in the past year alone 
I picked up in small amounts about $55, which I can trace directly to 
these market hints. I have made more than this at writing, but had I 
not been a subscriber to these journals, I should have missed these 
suggestions and would now be $55 short. Not so bad for an invest- 
ment of about $3, is it? — Frank G. Davis. 

Envelopes for mailing manuscripts may be purchased at the 
postoffice for less than half what they would cost elsewhere. Size 
8 envelopes, with 2-cent postage stamps, are 54 cents the package, 
and size 9 are 55 cents. — A. H. Dreher. 

When the fingers become stained with ink from using a pen, 
dampen the spots in clear, cold water. Light a match and let it 
burn until a little charcoal has formed on the end, then apply to the 
ink spots, and rub well. You will find that the ink has disappeared. 

Many times after stamping a letter or perhaps a package bear- 
ing several cents worth of postage, for some reason or other it has 
to be opened, thus causing the stamps to be discarded. One hesitates 
to do this on account of the waste of stamps, but you need hesitate 
no longer. Tear the envelope out close to the stamps and place the 
whole in a glass of cold water. Let stand a few minutes and you will 
find the stamps have separated from the paper. The color, being a 
fast one, is in no way spoiled, and the only waste is the envelope. 
Take out of the water and dry. When ready to use, apply a little 
library paste and the stamp is as good as new. — Minnie M. Mills. 




icy In 
Council 



-*rf — V* j»t?*B 3e 




Timely, terse, reliable, and good-natured contributions to this department will be wel- 
come. Every detail of each item should be carefully verified. Criticisms based on matters of 
opinion or taste cannot be admitted, but only points of accuracy or correctness. 



In "The Black Cameo, "by Frank Condon, Short Stories for 
January, 1916, appears the following: 

"I'll take it to her," King returned, "and glad of the chance." 

He took the bauble .... and stepped .... push- 
ing his way. The tip of the girl's pink plume waved above the wall. 
Without formality, Kelsey entered. . . . 

"Well,;' she asked, "what does—" _ 

"This is a private party," Grady said sharply. 

"One minute — one minute," King murmured, bowing to the two. 

It was King who took the bauble, and entered the private party 
of Grady and the girl, but the author carelessly used the name of 
another character in the sentence italicized, which causes the reader 
to re-read the passage in order to get it straight. — C. M. 

A recent release by the Cort Film Corporation is a feature film of 
Israel ZangwhTs great play, "The Melting Pot." In the March 
American Magazine is an illustrated short story, "The Melting Pot," 
by Alice Garland Steele, an entirely different story. The challenge is 
obvious. Munsey sl number of times has been guilty of the same 
inexcusable impropriety, and the lesser productions are apparently 
always trying to sail under the colors of some great novel or play. 
The title of a literary work is its identity and, as other things of 
worth, should be respected, but it seems that there are editors and 
publishers who either are lazy or don't care. — S. Raymond Jocelyn. 

An excellent story, " The Elephant Never Forgets, " by Charles E. 
Van Loan — Saturday Evening Post, February 12 — unfortunately 
hinges on a situation which the writer evidently premised on the 
ignorance of the general public regarding fire-arms. It is this: 

A rich man is murdered. His Italian gardener, found with a 
32 calibre revolver, having one empty chamber, is held for the crime 
on this evidence. The bullet removed by the autopsy surgeon is 
turned over to the police and no one discovers that it is a 38 calibre 
bullet till the reporter in the story sees it. 

This is a practically impossible situation. The difference in 
size and weight between the bullets for 32 and 38 calibre revolvers is 
so marked that it would hardly escape the notice of anyone with even 



CRITICS IN COUNCIL 173 

the slightest familiarity with such things, and it is incredible that the 
most stupid police official could have been so blind. — L. W. S. 

It seems a pity that when an author has his characters standing 
up the illustrating artist likes them seated in a chair. 

In "The $1,000 Check/' by Dana Burnet, in the February 
American Magazine, in one paragraph Bright walks over to the 
window and in the next his wife joins him. There she says: "Hus- 
band! I think we've done very well. This is only March and we've 
paid for all the Christmas presents." But in the frontispiece the 
artist has them seated when these words are uttered. — E. A. 

"The Man Trail," a six-reel Essanay photoplay released on 
the V. L. S. E. program, is unconvincing from beginning to end and 
does not do justice to the logging industry. It was advertised as 
a true-to-life lumber-camp story, and yet not one real log or logging 
operation is shown. Summer is not the logging season in the part of 
the country where the story has its setting, and yet the 4th of July 
"drunk" and celebration are shown as being in the busiest season. 
Mosquitoes make it almost impossible to work in the woods at this 
time of year. Lumber-jacks are usually able fighters and yet a city 
youth, shortly after his arrival, "cleans up" the best fighter in the 
camp, and if he so desires can handle a half dozen at once. This 
hero surely is a super-man! Then, too, he bears the usual reel 
charmed life, for men who a few scenes earlier are shown as expert 
shots with revolvers, being able to knock a bottle off a man's head, 
are unable to hit him when he is in a saloon brawl. He must get the 
better of about thirty "reel" men in this scene! Judging from this 
photoplay, all that is necessary to achieve success in the logging 
business is a pair of healthy and usable fists, for after winning several 
fights in the most approved hero fashion, the hero becomes boss 
without showing that he knows the first thing about the business. 
Essanay is generally a sign of true worth in photoplays, but in this 
case the only mistake they made was in making the picture. — H. J. S. 

In the twenty-seventh episode of "The Diamond from the Sky" 
a letter was shown on the screen dated September, 1911, inform- 
ing " John Powell " of the sum diverted by Blair. Then in the twenty- 
ninth episode, when fully a year is supposed to have passed in the 
incidents, comes the coronation day of King George and Queen 
Mary. Now, in fact, the crowning took place June 22d, 1911. 

Another instance in the same serial. When Hagar and Esther 
sent back the diamond to "John Powell," the gypsy in her letter 
used capitals and quotation marks. The letter which "John Powell" 
received with the diamond was in an entirely different handwriting, 
without capitals and quotation marks. All of which is indicative of 
haste in preparing the film, and inexcusable even in the matter of 
small things. Or did some explanatory detail escape my observation? 
I wonder how many noticed these little slips? — Precisionist. 



H. C. S. Folks 



Patrons and students are invited to give information of their published or produced material; 
or of important literary activities. Mere news of acceptances cannot be printed — give dates, 
titles and periodicals, time and place of dramatic production, or names of book publishers. 

Miss Flora Dawson, the professional story-teller, has been using 
a number of poems by Minnie M. Seymour of East St. Louis in her 
story-telling program in St. Louis this season. 

Marion F. Brown, of Dorchester, Mass., is the Associate Editor 
of Femina. In the January number appears the first of a series of 
twelve articles on " Sisterhood in the Making." The first of these 
papers is entitled "The Democracy of Childhood." Miss Brown has 
also contributed both prose and verse to many magazines, one of the 
latest of her acceptances being from the Ladies' Home Journal. 

Frederick Simpich, U. S. Counsel at Nogales, Mexico, contributes 
to the March McBride's a strong local color story entitled "The Gall 
of Gopher Jones." 

Dr. Leonard Keene Hirschberg, of Baltimore, has a unique, illus- 
trated article on "Expression of the Emotions — Walking" in the 
March Motion Picture Magazine. 

Jane Burr, of Chicago, has a poem with a point in All Story 
Weekly, for February 5th, under the title of "Worth Knowing." 

Arthur H. Dreher of Cleveland, has a dramatic short-story in the 
People's Popular Monthly for February, 1916. It is entitled " Bartlett 
Creates a Vacancy. " 

Harold Brown Swope, of San Francisco, has stories in two recent 
issues of Munsey's; "By a Flash in the Night" in the January issue, 
and "By Force of Arms " in the March issue. Both of them are full of 
dramatic action. 

The Black Cat for March contains " Hair o' the Dog " by Kenneth 
Cottingham of Columbus, Ohio, an unusually stirring story. 

In the All Story Weekly of February 19th, Edna A. Collamore of 
Worcester, Mass., has a delightfully humorous poem entitled " Through 
the Mill." 

"Physical Training for Boys" by M. N. Bunker, Colby, Kansas, 
has just been issued by Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Co., Boston, Mass. 

Mary C. Parsons of Brookline, Mass., has some clever humorous 
verse in the March Motion Picture Magazine. 

Mrs. Eunice Buchanan of Berwick, N. S., Canada, contributes 
frequently to the Canadian Horticulturist and The Farmer's Advocate. 

Miss Blanche Van Leuven Browne, Detroit, Mich., is editor and 
publisher of the Van Leuven National Magazine, a monthly periodical 
devoted to the educational, social, moral and physical betterment of 
all crippled children of mental power. Miss Browne founded the 



H. C. S. FOLKS 175 

Van Leuven Browne Hospital School for the education of crippled 
children in June, 1907, with five rooms, with borrowed furniture, and 
one child. She has since that time, without money of her own, 
mothered 185 crippled children, secured for them the best doctors, 
nurses, teachers, and friends, bought them a home valued at $50,000, 
and kept them well-fed, well-dressed, and happy. 

Abbie N. Smith, of Coalinga, Cal., has brought out through the 
Educational Publishing Company two charming animal stories for 
children in book form. They are entitled " Bobtail Dixie " and ' 'King 
Gobbler." Both are profusely illustrated. 

Ada Jack Carver of Natchitoches, La., has been awarded the 
third prize of $100 in the recent Short-Story Contest conducted by 
the Southern Woman's Magazine. The title of her prize winner is 
"The Story of Angele Glynn." 

Sally Nelson Robins of Richmond, Va., has a story of great charm 
in the March issue of the Southern Woman's Magazine, "What Oak 
Hill Did for Honoria." 

George Allan England, of Chelsea, Mass., is meeting with unusual 
success in his latest novel, " The Alibi, " recently brought out by Small, 
Maynard & Company. It is in its fourth large edition, and the Vita- 
graph Company has just bought the rights for a six-reel photoplay 
production. 

The principal article in the American Magazine for April is by 
Dale Carnagey, of New York City. It is entitled, "Rich Prizes for 
Playwrights," and consists of a series of personal "stories" of some 
of those who have recently won the greatest successes. The article, 
which is beautifully illustrated by four full-page portraits in alco 
gravure, is especially helpful to those who aspire to be writers for 
the stage. 

L. E. Eubanks, of Seattle, Wash., has an article, "The Ideal 
Husband, The Man's Viewpoint," in the March issue of Physical 
Culture. 

Miss Daisy Johnson, of Paris, Texas, is winning distinction as 
a musician and composer. The Texas Federation of Women's Clubs 
recently awarded her first prize for the "Slumber Song." 

The February number of Unity Magazine contains a very pleas- 
ing allegory by Mrs. Caroline Belcher, of Orange, N. J. 

A. Lincoln Bender, of Brooklyn, N. Y., has a bright story en- 
titled "Larry's Impersonation" in the March 20th issue of the 
Detective Story Magazine. 

Earl G. Curtis, of Richmond, Va., has a short story entitled 
"Charge It" in Young's Magazine for April. 



Our readers are urgently asked to join in making this department up-to-date and accurate. 
Information of new markets, suspended or discontinued publications, prize contests in any way 
involving pencraft, needs of periodicals as stated in communications from editors, and all news 
touching markets for all kinds of literary matter should be sent promptly so as to reach Springfield 
before the 20th day of the month preceding date of issue. 



The Writer's Monthly will buy no more manuscript of the larger sort before 
May, 1916, as the supply of accepted material is large. There is, however, present 
and constant need for departmental material, for short, pertinent paragraphs. 
Payment is made only in subscriptions or extension of present subscriptions. 

The Overland Monthly, 21 Sutter St., San Francisco, is in the market for 
stories of 2,000 to 4,000 words in length, preferably with a western background 
and characters. They also use special articles if upon good subjects connected 
with the development of the West. Photos should accompany articles. No 
verse is wanted, as they are already overladen with it. Manuscripts are usually 
reported on within two weeks and payment is made on publication. 

Ambition, Scranton, Pa., Dennis F. Crolly, Editor, is in the market for short 
fiction of 3,000 to 4,000 words in length. It occasionally buys "sample stories" — 
stories in which the leading character is supposed to have enrolled for an I. C. S. 
course. Inspirational essays of from 1,000 to 2,000 words always get a careful 
reading. Ambition aims to make young men realize the necessity of training 
themselves for a career and tries to impress upon them the importance of begin- 
ning now. Manuscripts are reported on at once, and payment is usually made 
within a month after acceptance. 

Rand, McNally & Co., Publishers, 538 S. Clark St., Chicago, are in need of 
book length novels, of 80,000 to 120,000 words in length. They are in special 
need of books for boys and girls of 50,000 words in length. Manuscripts are 
reported on within a week if declined, or six weeks if available. They generally 
pay a royalty on the retail price of the book, payments being made semi-annually. 

Short Stories, Garden City, L. I., N. Y., wants short-stories of 4,000 to 6,000 
words in length. These must have strong, original plots, with plenty of action, 
based on humor, adventure and the outdoors, — especially for men readers. No 
sex or psychological problem stories are required. In general, manuscripts are 
reported on within ten days, and payment is made upon acceptance. 

Michigan Farmer, Detroit, Mich., is provided for until next fall with serials 
and short fiction. However, well-written, short, illustrative articles, bearing on 
agriculture or farm life, would be considered. Stories and articles must have a 
special appeal to farm folks. It also has Farm, Live Stock, Dairy, Horticultural, 
Poultry, Marketing and Household departments, and contributions for these are 
always acceptable. The magazine endeavors to report on manuscripts within 
two weeks, although this is not always possible. Payment is made at the end of 
the month following publication. 



Henry W. Thomas, Editor, Top-Notch Magazine, New York City, writes: 
"We can use any kind of a story provided it is clean and wholesome. Toy-Notch 
is not a boy's magazine. We do not use juvenile stories. What we are always 
looking for is the good sport story. Very few are able to suit us with sport stories 



WHERE TO SELL 177 

because very few writers know how to weave in a plot with their football, tennis, 
basket-ball, yachting, running or other phases of sport which they select for their 
background. The writer who knows how to construct a sport story with a plot 
always gets our money. We prefer serials of 45,000 words in length and short 
fiction of 2,500 to 5,000 words in length. Payment is made on acceptance and 
two cents a word is our highest rate. " 

Opportunist, La Grange, Mo., is a new magazine of civic reform and social 
service. It is in the market for a few human interest stories of 2,000 words in 
length, covering the field of social service. The rates of payment are x /i to 3^ cent 
a word. 

New England Art Company, 333 Fourth Ave., New York City, which 
publishes greeting cards for all occasions, is already considering designs suitable 
for Christmas cards. 

Jos. W. Stern & Co., 102-104 West 38th St., New York, state that they are 
not in the market for any new publishing material at present. 

Kendis Music Pub. Co., Inc., New York, state that they are not in the market 
for lyrics at the present time. 

Chicago Film Company, 1128 Otis Bldg., Chicago, is in the market for one- 
reel refined and polite comedy scenarios with as few interior sets as possible. 
Their minimum figure for well-developed scenarios is $25. 

Miss Blanche Van Leuven Browne, editor of Van Leuven Browne National 
Magazine, Detroit, Mich., will welcome contributions to her periodical, but no 
honorarium can be paid for such contributions. The Writer's Monthly has 
never given space to such announcements but since Miss Browne's work is 
entirely charitable our readers might find a useful outlet in this direction for some 
of their work. Before offering material send for a free sample copy, mentioning 
this magazine. 

New Fiction Publishing Co., 35-37 West 39th St., New York, publishers 
of Snappy Stories and Romance, having brought up their circulation to oyer half 
a million copies a month, have recently announced for Snappy Stories a minimum 
rate of one cent a word for all accepted manuscript, with a maximum rate of 
two cents a word for such as they consider especially desirable. This maximum 
rate will not be paid because of the author's name or prestige; it will be paid 
only on the merit of the story; but all those whose work finds place in their 
pages will be assured of not less than a cent a word for their efforts. For contribu- 
tions to their other magazine, Romance, they announce a rate of one cent a word, 
although they reserve the right to offer a somewhat lower price for fiction thej' - 
consider usable yet not worth the maximum rate. In this connection they an- 
nounce, also, a slight change in policy for Romance. It will hereafter use no serials, 
this giving an opportunity to publish longer novelettes, which may now range 
from 25,000 to 30,000 words in length. They promise an early decision and pay- 
ment on acceptance for manuscripts found available. Manuscripts should be 
addressed to Robert Thomas Hardy, Managing Editor. 

Benziger's Magazine, 36 Barclay St., New York, at present uses only short 
stories of about 2,500 to 5,000 words in length. These stories must be written 
by Catholics and be Catholic in tone. They report on manuscripts within two 
weeks or one month from date received and payment is made upon acceptance. 



The Writer's 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwein 

Entered at the Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Poet Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by The Home Cohbb- 
spondencb School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

IMPORTANT NOTICES 

Change of address must reach the publisher 
before the first of the month. No numbers can 
be duplicated when this rule has not been com- 
plied with. Subscribers must give old address 
when sending in the new, and specifically address 
the notice to The Writer's Monthly. 

Return postage must accompany all regular 
articles intended for publication; otherwise, 
without exception, unavailable manuscripts 
will not be returned. 

In no case can short items for the Depart- 
ments be returned if unavailable, therefore 
copies should be retained by the writers. 

Notices of accepted material will be 
sent promptly with payment on acceptance. 
However, items for " Critics in Council," 
"Paragraphic Punches," "Experience Meet- 
ing," and "The Word Page" will be paid for 
only in shorter or longer subscriptions to The 
Writer's Monthly, to be sent to any desired 
person. Items for the other departments will 
not be paid for. 

Vol. VII March, 1916 No. 4 



A story which has long been 
going the rounds may have 
escaped the notice of a small per- 
centage of our readers. It is a 
shame to discriminate against 
these, so here it is: 

A young student at Harvard — 
though it might as well be made 
Oscaloosa University, for Har- 
vard doesn't need a press agent — 
had been sending stories to a 
magazine with more persistency 
than success. His latest story 
was returned with a letter from 
the editor advising him to put 
more punch in his story-openings. 
The young wag followed this 
friendly counsel by beginning 
his next offering with what must 
be admitted to be a beautiful 



wallop, and the remainder of the 
masterpiece was filled with simi- 
lar " pep." 

"Oh, Hell!" burst out the queen, 
who up to that time had taken no 
part in the conversation. 

Whereupon the entire court broke 
into laughter, with the exception of 
the Princess Alice, who was a grouchy 
old son-of-a-gun and would not laugh 
at anything. 

One of the causes of the present 
shortage of paper is The Writ- 
er 's Monthly — and its readers. 



Producers of photoplays are 
now trying to cut down the pad- 
ding, so that, as nearly as possible, 
the scenes may be reduced to 
sheer action. Certainly this is a 
commendable ideal, but many 
spectators will be sorry to see it 
pressed to the extreme even now 
apparent in some photoplays. 
Frequently scenes which are the 
most picturesque — not alone as 
pieces of beautiful photography 
but as effective contributions to 
the local color — are given just a 
flash on the screen, only to give 
place to a close-up which shows 
in long-drawn detail the genesis 
of a leer on the face of the villain, 
or a smirk by the heroine. A 
little of the close-up is enough, 
unless the actor is rarely gifted in 
facial pantomime. On the other 
hand, spectators unquestionably 
delight in scenes which show 
action against interesting back- 
grounds. To combine interest of 
character with interest of action 
and show them both against a 
fascinating background is the 
height of dramatic art, whether 
played on the screen or on the 
legitimate stage. So long as the 
picture is pleasing and does not 
deflect attention from the thread 
of action it should not be cut. 
What really slows up the action 
of the photoplay is the same 
thing that irritates the specta- 



EDITORIAL 



179 



tor — to have the star pose and 
mouth, either alone or with some 
character foil, when no sound 
dramatic purpose is served. Some 
of the most fascinating local color 
scenes, which have evidently 
taken weeks of preparation and 
have cost large sums to stage, are 
swept on and off the screen in a 
jiffy, seemingly to make time for 
personal display which is neither 
pleasing nor dramatic. 

The other extreme was illus- 
trated in the Fox production of 
Carmen, which featured Theda 
Bara. Too many of the opening 
scenes were of local color interest 
only. The fact that they were 
themselves highly interesting did 
not justify their lavish inclusion 
because after a while the specta- 
tor sensed that they bore no real 
relation to the action of the play. 
What would have scored in a 
travel picture was padding in 
Carmen. 

It requires a nice discrimina- 
tion to allow the spectator ample 
time to take in the beauty or the 
thrill of a piece of local color and 
yet fill the same scene with a 
plot interest that makes the 
local color significant. It is to be 
hoped that our friends the direc- 
tors will pay more attention to 
vital expansion than to using the 
scissors with the purpose of 
jamming more scenes into fewer 
reels — chiefly to allow the star to 
twinkle. 



Advertising writing as a field 
for women is broadening. There 
are many kinds of publicity which 
can better be written by the sex 
which that advertising must 
reach. The advertising staffs of 
the large department stores, 
women's garment houses, cata- 
logue-issuing concerns, and the 



big advertising agencies now 
offer openings to women with 
ideas and both the energy and 
the writing ability to dress their 
ideas in a way to bring business. 
We should welcome a condensed, 
authoritative and practical arti- 
cle on this subject. 



The reams of advice that have 
been current in books and periodi- 
cals have not sufficed to show 
beginners that it is futile to offer 
Christmas material in November 
or even October. It seems a 
constant source of amazement to 
young writers that a magazine 
which was printed yesterday can- 
not buy its material for that num- 
ber tomorrow! A stitch in time 
saves — a few darns. 



"Don't practice systemati- 
cally, or methodically, as it is 
sometimes called. Systematism 
is the death of spontaneousness, 
and spontaneousness is the very 
sole of Art. Art belongs to the 
realm of emotional manifesta- 
tions, and it stands to reason that 
a systematic exploitation of our 
emotional nature must blunt it." 
These words from Josef Hoffman, 
which are taken from his " Piano 
Playing" refer to the practicing 
over of the same exercises in the 
same sequence and at the same 
hour, yet they have their value to 
us all. Whether one shall be 
systematic or depend upon his 
inspirations for the times and the 
length of his working periods 
must depend upon his self-knowl- 
edge. The danger is that one 
may wait too long for inspiration. 
There is such a thing as striking 
until the iron is hot — and not 
merely waiting for the time when 
it is hot. 



The Writer's Book List 

Prepared by the Editorial Staff of The Writeb's Monthly and Continued from Month to Month 

A good working library is an essential for the writer who would succeed. If you cannot have a 
large library, you can at least have a good one, small though it be. It may cost some present 
sacrifices to own the best books, but the investment will pay abundantlv before long. 

Any book will be sent by The Writer's Monthly on receipt of price. The prices always 
include delivery, except when noted. Send all remittances to The Writer's Monthly, Myrick 
Building, Springfield, Mass. 



Synonyms and Word Study 

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Likes and Opposites 



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An excellent small book of synonyms and 
antonyms. 179 pp. Cloth. Postpaid. 



The Writer's Book of Synonyms 

By J. Berg Esenwein and CO. Sylves- 
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English Synonyms, Antonyms and 
Prepositions . . $1.64 

By James C. Fernald. One of the most 
practical books on the market. 564 pp. 
Cloth. Postpaid. 



The Verbalist 



$1.35 



By Alfred Ayres. Brief discussions of 
the right and the wrong use of words. 
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of the Standard Dictionary, etc. 242 pp. 
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Jessup led us to believe that he was entirely reliable, therefore, we printed his 
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so many complaints that this advertisement has been withdrawn. We advise 
you to communicate with the United States Postoffice Department and make 
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i 

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A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 

The Writer's 




Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY A 



Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



MAY, 1916 



NUMBER 5 



IN THIS NUMBER 

Six Helpful Articles: 
Eight Prize Contests: 
Nine Full Depart- 
ments: Twenty-Eight 
Markets for Writers: 
Editorial Comment 






THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL 

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THE ART OF STORY WRITING. Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
work on Story Writing. A direct and effective guide to actual fictional narration. The 
chapter on plot alone is worth the price of the book to any writer, xi -f- 211 pp. $1.36. 

WRITING THE SHORT-STORY Esenwein. The standard textbook on the technique 
of the Short-Story. Widely used in colleges and universities. A complete course includ- 
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STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. A companion book to Writing the 
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THE TECHNIQUE OF THE MYSTERY STORY. Carolyn Wells. With introduction 
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lates insight into the methods of successful writers of plotted stories and at the same 
time cultivates fertility in the mind of the reader, ix + 836 pp. $1.62. 

WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
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book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 874 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION. Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii + 810 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An inspirational 
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with a "punch" on every page. xi + 512 pp. $1.75. 

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The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 



A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII May, 1916 Number 5 

HUMOR AS AN ASSET— Leslie N. Jennings .... 187 

A PARALLEL FOR THE WRITER— Beulah Rector ... 188 

A COME-BACK— Harold Playter 189 

LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS— XVH— J. Berg Esenwein . 192 
SHORT-STORY WRITING— VOCATION OR AVOCATION? 

E. E. de Graff 195 

PHOTOPLAY NEWS— E. M. Wickes 197 

FRESH MARKET NOTES— George Mason 198 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— ENCOURAGEMENT FOR BEGINNERS 

E. M. Wickes 200 

THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE— DEPARTMENT 

Anne Scannell O'Neill ........ 204 

THINKS AND THINGS— DEPARTMENT— Arthur Leeds 206 

EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 210 

CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT 212 

THE WORD PAGE— DEPARTMENT 213 

H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT 214 

WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT 215 

EDITORIAL 218 
THE WRITER'S BOOK LIST— DEPARTMENT .220 
ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES— DEPARTMENT . .221 



Published monthly by The Home Correspondence School, Myrick Building, Springfield, Mass. 

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The Technique of Play Writing 

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This notable book, just from the press, is clear, concise, authoritative and without a rival. 
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Vol. vii May, 1916 Number 5 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 

Humor as an Asset 

By Leslie Nelson Jennings 

Though all of us can not hope to contribute to the mirth of 
nations as generously as an 0. Henry or a Mark Twain, we can at 
least cultivate a sense of humor. It is a saving grace in the person who 
aspires to butter his bread with a fountain pen. When we begin to see 
the humor in ourselves, we may safely look about for it in the doings 
and sayings of those with whom we mingle ; and when we have learned 
to laugh at our own attitudinizings, our foibles, our comical inconsist- 
encies, we unconsciously start saucing our literary hash with the 
caper. 

Those who know anything about the magazine mart will tell you 
that comedy of the proper spontaneity can always take the center of 
the stage. Morbid stories of the introspective sort, psychological 
analyses, serious studies of people and things, are not wanted by 
periodicals in the quantities offered. Glance over the more popular 
fiction monthlies : you will find that the light touch has won to print, 
and the reason for this is that magazines must entertain to sell. There 
is enough grimness in life itself — we need not look between the covers 
of a periodical for the skeleton that rattles at our elbow. 

But we must have humor in ourselves to be able to see it in 
others. Why is it that the literary diathesis presupposes beetling 
brows, Disraelian neckwear and a studied dignity? Writing is a 
trade. What would we think if the engineer introduced Trautwine 
into his small talk? The result would be no more tiresome than the 
twaddle we hear from so-called authors. 

The people who take themselves seriously are bound to write 
their personalities into their work. When I first came to the conclu- 
sion that I had to seek solace in the ink pot (in spite of my suffering 
family!) I was introduced to an elderly gentleman, who they thought 
would guide my pen into profitable and improving purlieus. In his 
youth this gentleman had perpetrated three tragedies on the Greek 
cut — and succeeded in "getting them by" a publisher! As a crown 
to his twenty-odd years of university teaching and research he had 
put forth a plump little tome on Norse Mythology — very beautifully 
done, with plenty of Latin phrases and a complete glossary. The 
book was taken by Harper's. After many days I learned that he 
broke even on the venture, with not a red cent in pocket to show for 



188 A PARALLEL FOR THE WRITER 

his labor. My learned friend was a typical " literary man," looking 
the part, acting the part and talking the part. I started out with him 
as my pattern. Shades of Josh Billings ! My sense of humor was as 
evident as the meat in a worm-drilled walnut. 

Fortunately for myself, I began to see things through my own 
eyes, and gradually Mr. Blank assumed his just proportions. I know 
now that, with all his really admirable scholarship, what he lacked 
was a sense of humor. So did I. We discussed "our work" with all 
the aplomb of college professors — and the truck I turned out was as 
succulent as a table of logarithms. So much for taking oneself seri- 
ously. 

This is only one experience. A series of short-arm jabs in a news- 
paper office taught me to size up life in the ecorche, with the personal 
equasion knocked out. I began to coordinate with my surroundings, 
and discovered that the cleverest penman was usually the most 
sensible — and human. 

Humor is a genuine asset, even though we can not write it. See 
yourself with a twinkle: you may be funnier than the funniest 
character in fiction. Make capital of yourself. Take a joke and be 
ready to manufacture one. The man who can not speak of his 
brainwork as "stuff" without wincing is painful to contemplate. 



A Parallel for the Writer 

By Beulah Rector 

The Young Writer looked long and wonderingly at the picture 
the Landscape Painter had set upon his easel. 

"Surely," he reflected aloud, shaking his head, "you must some- 
times wish you had another person to talk with about your work;" 
for he knew that in this remote hill country the really famous artist 
was shut away from all of his kind. 

"Talk with? Somebody to talk with? Talk Art, you mean? 
Rot! The thing to do is to paint. It's the painting that counts. The 
steady practice day after day. " 

The Young Writer felt almost ashamed as he strolled up the 
road to his own cottage. "Just as the only thing in your work that 
counts is to write — to write every day regularly," he addressed 
himself, "to write regularly whether you feel in the mood for it or not. 
You know how it is : even though you haven't always an idea of what 
you are going to make out of those ink drops, yet when you sit down 
at your desk and start working at something, suggestions come. 
Recall how by starting on the nearest thing at hand — a paragraph on 
the three sisters in black who live across the street — you finally 
evolved the very best thing you did last year." 

The Landscape Painter had ideas, and it wasn't many days before 
the Young Writer was again in the studio of broad canvases. 

Casually, the Landscape Painter picked up a bladed instrument. 



A COME-BACK 189 

" Do you know what this is? It's a scraper. The painter who doesn't 
learn to use this will never get above a certain level. He won't grow. 

"In my student days I came in one morning and found a group 
gathered about a certain young man's easel. They were admiring his 
picture. They had reason to. It was a fine picture — a masterpiece. 
No one else among them had done as well as that. Just then the 
professor entered. He frowned. 'Give me your scraper,' he ordered. 
At the top of the canvas he placed his hand and drew the blade 
across the canvas. He did it again and again until there was nothing 
left. The young man winced. It hurt him. Of course it did. He had 
spent weeks on that picture. But that student never received a 
more valuable lesson." 

The Writer seemed to understand. 

"I tell you he would never have gotten beyond that — he would 
have stopped there — he'd never have exhibited in the Salon," the 
artist thundered. 

The Young Writer had thoughts of his own. That morning the 
Rural Delivery Man had left an unmistakably thick envelope. The 
Writer had been impatient at the refusal of the story it contained. 
When he reached home he drew it out and re-read it ; but somehow it 
did not leave him with that satisfied glow he had expected. And he 
had kept this in the mail six months! 

"Until you have the grit to reject, you'll never have the power to 
progress. George, I can do better than that!" 

The next minute the thick sheets were writhing and scorching 
in the blaze of the open fire. 

The Landscape Painter, walking among his flowers about that 
time, though he saw the skein of smoke unraveling from the cottage 
chimney, did not know that it represented a desire for a higher level 
of attainment which he himself had unconsciously passed on to his 
writer friend. 

A Come-Back 

By Harold Playter 
Dear Editor: 

I found your October editorial on the questions of self-criticism 
and "special consideration" most helpful, entertaining and satisfy- 
ing; but your November discussion of editorial reasons for refusing 
all criticism leaves me with a desire to hear more. I want to know 
if a majority, or even a substantial minority, of writers really ask 
for or expect constructive criticisms on rejected manuscripts. Such 
a demand seems, indeed, preposterous; but the tyro — this tyro, at 
least — feels that there is a vast difference between constructive 
criticism and the empty nothings of the polite rejection slip. 

I have come to regard polite rejection slips as bad habits: bad 
for me, bad for the postman and — bad for the editor. I visualize 
the editor reaching for one much as he might light another cigarette 
or take another drink. For him they have become institutions, 
iniquitous institutions from whose thraldom of familiarity he thinks 
that he cannot escape. 



190 A COME-BACK 

Now, I am no philanthropist; I would not cure the editor's 
vice from purely unselfish motives. He accuses me of wanting some- 
thing for nothing, and I admit that I do. While I have deep sym- 
pathy for any editor who has to read my stories, and while I am 
conscious that criticism would be a still greater onus, I yet frankly 
confess that I pound my typewriter for a living and that I will make 
him help me earn that living if I can. I merely wish to point out that 
I am the editor's child, the perfectly legitimate offspring of his per- 
fectly legitimate search for an inexpensive echo of Rudyard Kipling 
or Jack London. And I ask the editor to recall the time when his 
little boy or girl queried: "Why isn't the moon green and square? "I 
ask him to remember that the answer, " Don't bother me; I'm busy," 
did not suffice ; that the question was repeated until answered, or un- 
til — if the youngster was a true child of genius — the editor found his 
study all painted over with green circles which young hopeful was try- 
ing to square. It is simply human nature to ask "Why?" Even an 
editor, if there were anyone to whom he could look up, would now 
and then ask, "Why?" 

To assist the young author in squaring the literary circle, there 
are, it is true, professional critics — private tutors to the editor's 
children. Many are good critics, too; in those palmy times when I 
carried a hod by day and wrote by night, they gave me lots of good 
advice. But some of them told me that I need carry a hod no longer, 
and now I must ask my father for wherewith to pay them. I cannot 
quite blame the editor for his lack of paternal affection; he did not 
want so many of us; but the fact remains that he has us, and that 
he cannot altogether shirk his fatherly obligations unless he pays 
the tutor, or until there is a public bureau of criticism. And even 
then, what outsider could wholly fill a father's place? Who could 
predict the changed policy, the sudden desire to uplift the world at 
the expense of literature, or vice versa? Not even a critic can tell 
what an editor may do next. No one but the editor, or one of his staff, 
can tell me just why my manuscript is rejected. 

If the editor cannot love us, he can at least regard our manu- 
scripts as commodities like butter or cheese (often they closely re- 
semble these articles in antiquity or flaccidity) and treat them 
accordingly. If a man peddles bad butter the consumer will quickly 
apprise him of the fact. This may annoy the peddler; he may abuse 
the consumer roundly; but the quality of the butter will improve. 
To be sure, this analogy must not be pressed too far; the editor does 
not have to eat the manuscript; but a mere glance at the title 
may cause a mental indigestion that will disqualify him for a proper 
appreciation of Jack London for the rest of the day. I know just 
how it affects him — I know because his arm sometimes gets so tired 
reaching for polite rejection slips that he lets some of that stuff get 
by and I have to read it myself. 

I am constrained to believe that I peddle bad manuscripts. 
This painfully acquired knowledge should, perhaps, be sufficient, yet 
I still voice that childish treble, " Why? " And the editor still answers 
that he is too busy to answer — could not pay dividends if he did. 



A COME-BACK 191 

Almost I believe him. When every third man and every second 
woman whom I meet tells me that he or she is writing short-stories 
or photoplays, I wonder that no one has invented a mechanical 
manuscript reader. Yet I am told that the mail is handled by a 
corps of men and women more intellectual than dextrous, and that 
these actually glance at the first page of every manuscript. Some- 
times, even, they read one through, and then find time to write a 
letter whose politeness is even more manifest than that of the rejec- 
tion slip. When, once in a blue moon, I receive one of these letters 
it makes me very happy, yet I always deplore the time spent. That 
politeness might have been spread over answering "Whys" for three 
or four manuscripts. As for the dividends: conditions under the 
present system seem to be very bad, indeed; many magazines go 
into receivers' hands, and the rest are shouting to high heaven, and 
to the postal authorities, that they exist by, grace of the advertiser 
alone! 

The final, and most rarely used, contention is that authors — 
and even young writers — are sensitive; that harsh words will quench 
the faintly-glowing spark of genius. Personally I know nothing 
about the spark of genius, but I do know this: if some editors ever 
die and go anywhere, their punishment will be to read polite — very 
polite — rejection slips throughout the Stygian night, rejection slips 
whose subtle differences and soft words will lure the unhappy editor 
to search on and on for a meaning; yet, though he turn them upside 
down, and round and round, will he never find aught but a boundless 
courtesy. 

Let me hasten to close, heartily seconding your conjecture that 
I know nothing about running a magazine. I just want the editor 
to know that I, too, am busy, and that it seems to me that we are 
keeping each other much busier than is necessary. It is true that 
my need of the editor is greater than his need of me, but surely he 
either needs me or wants to be rid of me. Surely a rejection slip 
could be so worded that a few scrawled words or a mere underscoring 
would cover the most vital, "Whys?" Even the reason, "I don't 
care for this," might be helpful. And surely an editor is derelict in 
his duty both to himself and to humanity when he continues to bid 
for manuscripts that are, "bad, shell and kernel," or "without dis- 
tinction," with a phrase like this: "The rejection of this manuscript 
in no way implies a lack of merit " 



It may be glorious to write 

Thoughts that shall glad the two or three 

High souls, like those far stars that come in sight 

Once in a century : 

But, better far, it is to speak 

One simple word, which now and then 

Shall waken their free natures in the weak 

And friendless sons of men. 

— James Russell Lowell. 



Letters to Young Authors 

SEVENTEENTH LETTER 

My (Iear Robert, 

Your letter has set me thinking. To some extent also I have 
investigated, but lack of time has forbidden my gathering enough 
data on the question of school and college training as bearing on 
successful authorship to give figures a decided meaning. 

Since your letter must be answered seriatim, let me repeat its 
main inquiries in sections: 

Do you think that a person who has been denied a high school education, 
but who finished the eighth grade of a country school, is studious-minded, and 
has a fairly wide knowledge of things far outside what was learned in school, is 
seriously handicapped against rising to any great heights in fiction writing? 

Can you name any author of prominence who failed to receive high school 
or a college education? 

What education did O. Henry receive? 

There are two ways of looking at the question of scholastic 
education for a writer — before he has the chance, and after the 
chance has passed. I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that 
any young person who looks forward to authorship had better get; 
— notice that I do not say "receive 7 ' — a college education if he can, 
and for such an one to neglect a chance to complete a course in a high 
or preparatory school would be the utmost folly. Later, he might 
make up for his loss, but only at cost of great effort and sacrifice. 

But when we look at the case of the man who has either cast 
aside or never had the chance for an academic training but now 
wishes to be a successful writer, we have an entirely different problem, 
and that is what we are facing now. We can easily agree that a 
young person ought to go to college, or at least to a good high school, 
but suppose he did not — how great is the handicap? 

Of course I shall begin by hedging. You recall Chauncey M. 
Depew's reply to the young man's question: "Is life worth living?" 
"That," said Mr. Depew, "depends upon the liver." You have 
described your man somewhat as having a mere foundation of train- 
ing, being "studious-minded," and being possessed of a "fairly wide 
knowledge of things far outside what was learned in school." But 
before I can consider him as a potential writer at all I must add 
another quality — the writer's sense, the inborn passion to report life 
and translate it into literature. 

Such a young man — and of course I include woman in all this — is 
handicapped for competition with him who begins with a mental 
equipment which the other must gain while working. 

But — assuming the qualities named before — I cannot believe 
that he is "seriously handicapped," if by "seriously" you mean 
anything like "hopelessly." 

The truth is that the lack of academic training is a great spur to 
certain minds of an earnest type. Many a youth has duplicated the 
experience of a young friend who lives near where I now write. He 
finished a high school course, but could not resist the wish to get to 
work, so he entered business. Then the old desire for literary work 



LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 193 

flamed up anew and he read and wrote and wrote and read until the 
magazines opened their doors to his stories. Next he became assistant 
editor of a New York magazine with a million circulation. Next he 
specialized in advertising writing and went on the staff of a large 
advertising agency. They at length recommended him for the post of 
advertising manager of a great New England concern, and now his 
booklets are models of selling sense and clear, effective expression. 

The point must not be obscured; this man is succeeding not 
because he did not go to college but because, having failed to go, he 
put forth tremendous efforts to make up for his lack — with the 
result that, while he emphatically misses the recollection of college 
life and that subtle something which comes from early association 
with educated men, he has more than made up for most phases of his 
loss. 

That this young man — for he is still well under forty — could 
forge ahead of so many college-bred competitors is doubtless due in 
part to his native gifts and spirit. But looking further, we see that 
it is due also to another condition which men of light and leading 
recognize — the tendency of so many, though probably not the 
majority of, college graduates to overestimate their attainments. 
While thousands of collegians never open a serious book after slam- 
ming the covers of their last senior text, and give themselves over to 
their chosen pursuits with only a subconscious application of what has 
been taught them, this man cultivated the friendship of great minds, 
whether met with in books or in daily life. The difference is simply 
this — one type of mind was handicapped in boyhood; the other is 
handicapping itself by depending on an old diploma instead of on 
present thought-power. One might as sensibly try to satisfy today's 
hunger with last year's food. 

When an earnest mind, determined to win against handicaps, 
succeeds in training native gifts as a writer, the world today is not 
slow to applaud. And, to answer your second inquiry with your 
third, there have been many such — among them Sidney Porter, 
whom we all know as " O. Henry. " This gifted story-teller attended a 
private school conducted by his aunt, and then for two terms he 
went to a graded school. That was all. 

Yet of course that was only the beginning. 

It is hardly fair to cite the cases of Burns and Whittier and Mark 
Twain, none of whom had so much as a full high school training, for 
sixty years ago there was a far smaller proportion of boys going to 
academy and college than now. Of living writers of prominence 
scores did not go to college, and perhaps fifty per cent of these never 
finished a high school course, while still a few others did not go beyond 
what we now call the eighth or ninth grades. W. D. Howells, Harold 
MacGrath, Hamlin Garland, Will Levington Comfort, Samuel 
Gompers, Alfred Henry Lewis, Joseph C. Lincoln, Harold Bell 
Wright, E. Phillips Oppenheim, Edward Mott Wooley — the list of 
non-college writers might be lengthened indefinitely. 

The educational records of women are not so accessible as those of 
men, nor would the figures be so significant, because so many schools 



194 LETTERS TO YOUNG AUTHORS 

for girls lay stress on English and the arts. Gene Stratton Porter, 
Mary Roberts Rinehart, Florence Earle Coates, and Caroline Lock- 
hart did not go to college in the man's sense of the term, yet each had 
excellent academic training |and were " polished in the finishing 
school." 

But notwithstanding these exceptions, the fact remains that a 
large majority of young men and women who are highly successful in 
letters or are pushing strongly to the front have had some college 
training. The same is true of newspaper folk. And of those authors 
who are succeeding without having had college training, a very large 
proportion have had experience in writing for the newspapers. 

You must remember that a college course today means anything 
you want to twist it to mean. The fellow who loafs and is " plucked' 7 
poses forever afterward as a college man. The technical schools whose 
courses in English are necessarily sacrificed, are still colleges. Elective 
courses are so shifted that a man may get his sheepskin and yet be an 
ignoramus on just about every subject that would qualify him to 
write. Many college graduates cannot write ten consecutive sen- 
tences in simple, correct English. 

On the other hand, a good " prep." or high school course, with 
English emphasized, may do wonders for a youth who has contracted 
writer's itch. It is the thing done outside the curriculum that makes 
the writer. And, apart from mental grasp and association with 
broader minds, a young writer may often get his best training either 
in addition to his prescribed college studies or by foregoing them 
entirely. 

Now for your final question: 

If the years that would be spent in high school were devoted to literary 
endeavor, do you think the practice and training thus received would be of more 
value than what would be learned in high school? 

This time your question looks forward instead of backward, and, 
that being the case, I have no hesitation in saying that for the average 
young writer-to-be the best thing to do, decidedly, is to take the 
high school training. One can well get along without a college course, 
though he would be handicapped, speaking for the average; but he 
would largely increase his handicap by omitting the high school 
course. 

Let me point out, my friend, the fact that our whole social system 
today emphasizes the need for supplementing what training we have 
with more training, not only on general but even chiefly on special 
lines. This latter tendency, indeed, is pushed to extremes when we 
see so many specializing in their studies before they are well grounded 
— as are our English cousins — in the fundamentals. 

For those who are at work by day, the night schools are open. 
For those who teach, after-hour, Saturday and vacation courses are 
given in our colleges and universities. For those who have completed 
preliminary courses, post-graduate schools have been founded. 
Groups of club women and other interested associates are gathered 
everywhere to study, hear lectures, and gain power for the ways of 



SHORT-STORY WRITING 195 

life. And, for all, home study courses under correspondence instruc- 
tion are offered by a number of great universities and recognized 
private institutions. 

So the main thing is not to lament one's lost preparation. The 
writer more than any other craftsman faces open doors, and shall 
face them be he never so old, which lead to broader and deeper 
efficiency in his work. He learns as he writes and writes as he learns. 
For him there is always waiting the same diploma as hung, so to say, 
in the library of that gifted graduate from the University of Hard 
Knocks, Elbert Hubbard. Let him labor as earnestly as did Fra 
Elbertus, and some day Life may crown his desire with gift and con- 
fer upon him the mystic degree — M. W. — Master Workman. 

Cordially yours, 

Karl von Kraft 



Short-Story Writing — Vocation 
or Avocation ? 

By E. E. de Graff 

I have been looking over the current magazines with a view to 
selecting a few of the really fine stories. I find quantities of passable 
and mediocre ones; many that strain after " unusualness ; " some 
that make a frank appeal to the salacious, leading them on by false 
pretenses to a perfectly innocuous ending; some that make a mourn- 
ful attempt to be humorous — all kinds, except the really great, simple 
kind. 

I seek for some of the causes for this. One is that greatness and 
simplicity — two traits that always go together — are not common. 
Perhaps the stories furnish as good a proportion as does the human 
race. Great writers are not always prolific ones. The insatiable 
maw of the reading public must be fed — the editors take the best 
that comes, and send out calls for "good short-stories." The writers 
of these are well paid. The news spreads. Young people — and older 
ones, for that matter — say, "Ha! There is an easy way whereby we 
may harvest shekels of gold and shekels of silver! Me to it!" For 
in addition to the financial lure, is that of being one of the literati — of 
becoming well-known, of being flattered, feted, and sought after. 

Having decided to adopt literature as a means of livelihood, the 
writer proceeds to scour the country for "stuff that will make a good 
story." Like the woman who had the "cooperation bug," who was 
always saying "Let's cooperate! What shall we cooperate about?" 
he gets the cart before the horse. He should live, and if he lives 
deeply, earnestly, sympathetically, there will be enough for him to 
write about. 

A good writer has the eye that sees every event in its dramatic 
light. He himself being romantic, let us say, casts a tinge of romance 



196 SHORT-STORY WRITING 

over the most banal surroundings. Seeing them bathed in the 
iridescent glow proceeding from himself, he writes of them as they 
are — to him — and scores a success. 

As light is said to inhere in the eye that sees, and sound in the 
ear that hears, so Drama and Romance are in the mind that perceives 
them. In this way becomes apparent the wisdom of sticking to 
something else as a living — thus fooling the fancy, which resents a 
harness. When one whips up a jaded imagination to hammer out a 
"story that will sell," he fails of his highest. There is as much dif- 
ference between the spontaneous outpouring of an unfettered fancy, 
and the labored output of a job done for money, as there is between 
the caress bestowed by a young girl upon her lover, and the dutiful 
salute of a wife who has married for support. 

There is another reason why literature should be adopted as an 
avocation rather than as a vocation: Anything followed for bread 
and butter is apt to become a routine — sometimes of drudgery. This 
kills spontaneity if the vocation is that of literature. If the calling 
is other than that, literature is taken up as a relaxation, and, handled 
in this spirit, relaxes the reader as well. The effect on the writer is 
also healthful, for the vocation, no matter how prosaic, becomes in- 
fused with life when utilized as a storehouse from which to draw 
literary material. 

The dynamic force of a writer who does things is greater than 
that of the writer who merely writes. The spirit of independence in 
thought and expression which permeates the writings of a man inde- 
pendent of monetary consideration for his work, militates for, rather 
than against, its acceptance. An elderly minister of the old days 
was wont to say, "I farm to make a living! I preach to save souls!" 

One who depends solely on his pen for his bread and cheese is 
likely either to go without the cheese, or always have his ear to the 
ground listening for what public opinion will sanction. 

You cannot be your truest and best self when you are scouring 
the papers for some incident to hang a short-story on, and when you 
have to trim your story to suit the whims of a hypothetical editor. 
The water in the fountain jets up clear and sparkling, the pumped-up 
water has sand in it when the well is running dry. 

Another reason why short-story writing is better when followed 
as an avocation is that, under the urge of implacable necessity, 
mental work must be forthcoming by a given time, regardless of 
physical condition (which dominates the mental), and sometimes 
the habit of taking some stimulant to help over "just this pinch" is 
formed. Literature abounds in such instances. The gold cures, 
Keeley cures, and numberless asylums, have contained a large pro- 
portion of brilliant editors and writers. Poe yielded to alcoholism; 
Burns dallied with "the temptation on which he was largely wrecked 
— the thirst for stimulants;" Coleridge and Francis Thompson were 
inveterate users of morphine; and we all know the classic instance of 
De Quincey. 

These dangers are largely avoided by living a life well-balanced 
between other work as a vocation and literature as an avocation. 



Photoplay News 

Compiled by E. M. Wickes 

At the last meeting of The Photodramatists, while Marc Edmund 
Jones told of his resignation from the World Film, Cecilie Petersen, 
now reading for the same company whispered to her neighbor: "I am 
reading and returning unavailable scenarios within five days. Those 
held for further consideration are retained from one week to five. The 
World Film is looking for five-reel society dramas, allowing for big 
sets and a display of artistic gowns; big western stories, not the 
hackneyed cowboy type; North Woods scenarios, and Sea dramas. 
Either complete scenarios or comprehensive synopses are welcome." 

Miss Petersen was formerly a free lance and has a warm spot in 
her heart for her fellow writers. 

Mrs. L. Case Russell, author of a recent Vitagraph Feature, 
"The Two-Edged Sword," told how a company rejected a synopsis 
and later purchased the same story in complete scenario form. [Mr. 
Leeds tells of a similar instance in this month's "Thinks and Things. " 
— Editor.] 

Vim is reported to be in the market for a few comedies, is giving 
quick decisions and making prompt payments for accepted material. 
Vim's address is Riverside Avenue, Jacksonville, Florida. 

According to one member in close touch with the American Film 
Company, the American is still looking for good five-reel features. 

Montagne, Van Buren Powell, Poland, and Bergman came up 
from the Vitagraph studios. Vitagraph wants are about the same as 
last month, as the staff is devoting most of its time to reconstruction 
work. 

Report has it that The Eastern Company, Providence, R. I., will 
resume producing pictures in the near future. 

Marc Edmund Jones read to the meeting an article which 
appeared in The Writers' Monthly for February, 1915. Those 
who have not read it, and read it carefully, will do well to secure a 
copy containing the article, for it carries a great deal of valuable 
information. It is entitled "Pointing up to the Dramatic Moment." 

As Biograph has dispensed with the services of most of its 
players, the members of The Photodramatists think it unwise to 
offer anything to this company for the present. 

Howard Irving Jones, now with Metro, Marc Edmund Jones, 
and another chap became evolved in a discussion relative to the 
average director's ability to write photoplays — not rehashes. The 
consensus of opinion is that they are not; and that the day of the 
writing-director will soon be a thing of the past, which should be 
cheerful news to real writers. Even the heads of several well-known 
film companies have come to this conclusion, and intend to see that 
directors direct and writers — real writers — do the writing. 



Fresh Market Notes 

By George C. Mason 

The new editors of System, Chicago, on receiving manuscript 
which at a glance they know is not what the publication wants, 
return it at once. Their rejection slip reads as follows: 

" Thank you for allowing us to read this manuscript. It falls 
outside the purposes and requirements of our magazine, however, 
and I must return it to you. System's field is essentially technical — 
the how and why of successful manufacturing, wholesaling, retailing, 
banking, advertising, selling — told whenever possible in terms of 
human experience." 

When a manuscript is received that does look promising, a post 
card reading as follows is immediately sent the writer: 

"Thank you for sending me your article. Decision on a manu- 
script frequently requires ten days or two weeks. Within that time 
you may expect to hear from me. — The Editor." 



If any writer turns out something new in the way of an adver- 
tising plan or scheme, there is usually a good market for the work 
right among the merchants in their home town and many of the big 
houses in the metropolitan cities are on the lookout for any ideas that 
can be used. 

If you are wise you will steer clear of the average advertising 
agency, because if they "get" your idea, you lose. Back comes your 
work and, well — they have filed the "idea" and will use it when the 
opportunity presents itself, but there's nothing coming to you. When 
you see some big advertiser using the idea, you write him about it, 
gently informing him that it is the product of your brain, and receive 
in return a very nice letter telling you that all their advertising ideas 
are prepared by "so and so." And the "so and so," you find, is the 
concern to which you sent your bright idea, several months or perhaps 
a year before. Then you write this advertising agency asking "where 
you come in," and you find you don't. If you persist in annoying 
them you are informed that they never heard of you and that the 
idea used originated in their own offices. And then — well, you might 
as well give up for you can't " get back " at them. The only way to do 
is to keep away from this class of people. 



I would advise all writers of advertising plans and the like never 
to submit anything to the Shively Selling Service, of Seattle, Wash- 
ington. In answer to a letter I received from them, in reply to an 
advertisement I ran in the Advertising World, Columbus, Ohio, I sent 
two good plans (both credited by advertisers in my home city as 



FRESH MARKET NOTES 199 

being excellent), and shortly after another good one, and, well — 
that's all. I have written them several times regarding the matter and 
they fail to answer or return the goods. If I succeed in making them 
come to time, I'll tell the readers of this publication how I did it. 



The Advertising World, Columbus, Ohio, has written me several 
times asking for articles on advertising subjects and I have contrib- 
uted quite a number. However, there is no money in sight and the 
writer who deals with this publication must accept advertising space 
in exchange for his brains. Sometimes you get sufficient returns to 
make it pay you and sometimes you don't. By the way, you don't 
more often than you do. 



The Schemer, Alliance, Ohio, a publication for mail-order men, 
also pays in advertising space. 



The Merchant and Manufacturer, Nashville, Tenn., uses articles 
on advertising, buying, selling, and in fact anything of general 
interest to its readers. They pay cash but are not over prompt. On 
two occasions I have had to write them twice before getting their 
check. Three dollars is about their limit for a page article. 



Something-To-Do, Boston, is asking for "things to do that 
children can do, ought to do, and like to do, with few tools and inex- 
pensive materials. " They pay cash, and state that "the amount will 
depend upon the nature of the project you submit, and the way it is 
presented. If we are obliged to rewrite the manuscript and redraw 
the illustrations, we cannot pay as much as we can if you present your 
project in form ready for the printer and engraver. " Manuscripts are 
accepted promptly or returned if postage is enclosed, and they stick 
to this rule pretty closely. If accepted, payment is made upon 
publication. When an article submitted looks pretty good, but they 
are a little doubtful whether they can use it or not, the writer receives 
a post card reading as follows : 

"That which you forwarded recently is received. Thank you. 
You will hear from it again as soon as we have time to look at it 
further." 

It would be well to get a copy of this publication and study it 
closely before submitting anything, because it is quite a little different 
from the general run of juvenile publications. Mr. Ronald F. Davis is 
managing editor. 



Help for Song Writers 

Encouragement for Beginners 
By E. M. Wickes 

"Small contributions gratefully received; the larger ones we'll 
take later on," appears to be the silent slogan of song writers who 
have arrived. Each live music publisher contributes more or less to 
the welfare of song writers. Last year Leo Feist was one of the 
largest, if not the largest, contributors of royalty to popular writers. 

"In 1915 we paid out $85,000.00 in royalty," said Ed. F. Bitner, 
general manager for Feist, during a recent interview. "And further- 
more, our books will show just where every cent went to. Of course, 
we could not pay this sum unless we did the business, and we would 
rather pay out $200,000.00 every year, for that would mean just so 
much more profit for the firm. " 

Notwithstanding this enormous sum paid out by Feist, some 
skeptics will ask if there is any money in popular song writing. A 
fiction magazine running ten stories a month with an average rate of 
one hundred dollars for a story pays out $12,000.00 every year, and a 
film company with a weekly release of eight reels, allowing $50.00 a 
reel, hands out close on to $21,000.00. Compare these figures. There 
is money to be made from song writing by those who know how to 
write the kind of material that publishers think will hit the public's 
fancy, but one has to learn the secret of gaining access to the pub- 
lishers' check books. Some men who really do not know how to 
write real songs manage to get their hands on "quite a little" of the 
money, and if they are able to accomplish this much, it should not be 
an impossible task for a real writer to emulate them in the matter of 
separating publishers from some of the golden nuggets. You are not 
likely to derive much benefit from the first few songs you turn out, 
any more than a photodramatist or a fiction writer will from his early 
work. You must have confidence in yourself and stick to your task in 
spite of every setback. 

L. Wolfe Gilbert is a great believer in tenacity. He had two hits 
to his credit during the year that has just passed, and it is safe to 
assume that the combined sales of "My Little Dream Girl," and 
"Sweet Adair" exceed a million and a half copies, which at the rate 
of half a cent royalty would give him $7,500.00. Six years ago Gilbert 
was unknown and would gladly have accepted five dollars for the two 
songs. "A great many think that there is no chance for a new writer, " 
Gilbert remarked recently, "but there's just as much chance today as 
there ever was. Take my case for instance. I got more ' guying ' when 
I started in than any other writer I know. When I left school in 
Philadelphia I had a craze to become a popular song writer. I 
drifted to New York, fell in with a crowd in Fourteenth Street, and 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 201 

used to spout poetry by the yard. I ground out parodies and original 
songs by the mile, but no one wanted them. I remember one cold 
winter's night, it was the night before Christmas, I offered to write 
two parodies for a comedian if he would take me in and buy me a 
meal. He slipped me a quarter and told me to give the parodies to 
some performer I didn't like. " 

"And did you still have faith in yourself, enough to make you 
believe that some day you would write a hit? " 

Gilbert smiled and rested his arm on the piano keys. 

"Did I? Well, I certainly did ! But I used to feel sick at times. It 
was bad enough to be unable to sell the stuff, but what made it worse 
was that the crowd used to poke all sorts of fun at me. Today the 
worst that a beginner gets is a rejection slip, but I used to get ejected. 
One day I heard that a comedian in the Thalia Theatre wanted some 
parodies, and I went down with three that I had sold to another man 
for fifty cents. The comedian had me sing them to him while he 
made up, then he called in the manager to hear them. The manager 
said that they were all right, but that another performer had used 
them during the preceding week. The comedian stopped long 
enough in his work to bounce a powder pot off my head and chase 
me out of the place. You see I didn't know it was wrong to sell one 
parody to two performers." 

"Was that the worst experience you ever had?" 

"Not by a long shot. I sold another parody twice, once to a 
German comedian, and later to an Irish comedian. It seems that 
luck was always playing against me. The German comedian used 
it one week and made good, and the next week the Irish comedian 
used it in the same house and fell flat, and when he heard that it had 
been used by another he came gunning for me. He had paid me 
five dollars for it and wanted his money back. I didn't have the 
money, so he punched me ten times, and said he would repeat the 
dose every time he met me until I paid him back. For six months I 
was unable to gather five dollars together at one time, and in the 
meantime I met the Irish comedian six times, and received something 
like sixty whacks. One day I sold three parodies for ten dollars, and 
the first thing I did was to locate that Irishman and give him back his 
five. And believe me, I drew a sigh of relief when I saw him smile. " 

"But why didn't you pay more attention to original material?" 

At this moment a messenger boy came into the piano room with 
several telegrams. Gilbert ran through them, smiled, and then 
looked up. 

"You were saying something about original stuff. Well, I didn't 
see any sense in writing it then as no one would even look at it, and I 
had to live. About that time I took a bunch of parodies to Ben 
Welch. I thought they were funny. He was seated on a trunk on the 
stage of a burlesque house when I met him. I sang them to him, while 
my stomach was trying to account for my long fast, but Welch never 
cracked a smile. When I finished he opened the trunk and took out a 
suit of clothes and told me to try it on. He took one look at me, then 
led me to a tailor store where he had the sleeves and the trouser legs 



202 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

shortened. When he found out that I didn't have the price of a meal, 
much less my room rent, he gave me a few dollars for the parodies 
and agreed to take me to Philadelphia to write some local stuff." 

"But how did you get started writing original songs?" 

"One day I didn't have any parodies, and I couldn't pass a 
restaurant without feeling a queer pain in my stomach, so I dug out 
an old song from my grip and took it to the Gotham-Attucks Com- 
pany, placed it on royalty and borrowed a quarter on the strength of 
future sales; but the firm failed shortly after and I never received 
any more for my trouble. I still kept plugging away, and every time 
I would get weak in the knees or seem to lose courage I would pick up 
a copy of an old newspaper that told of how others made thousands 
every year from songs." 

"Why didn't you quit and go to work?" 

"I couldn't think of quitting then. I was bound to be a song 
writer if I died in the attempt. About that time luck began to come 
my way, or at least I thought it was luck. I sent two songs to Jacobs 
in Boston, and they were accepted, but all I got was the price of a 
week's room rent. Later I managed to get two with Rossiter, but 
didn't get much out of them — I forget just how much. Then I came 
to the conclusion that there was no money in writing original songs 
for publishers and I turned my mind to doing special numbers and 
parodies. 

" One day I was given a chance to write some stuff for the Clipper, 
which assured me of my room rent. About this time I met Lew Muir, 
and he asked me why his songs did not "get over." I told him I 
thought they were too clever for the average theatre audience. He 
asked me if I would write some songs with him, but I couldn't see any 
money in them and refused. Later he brought me a melody that I 
liked and I took a chance on it and made a few dollars, and shortly 
after we turned out the ' Robert E. Lee. ' After that everything was 
plain sailing. " 

Mr. Gilbert's success is a good example of what a man can do 
with a little talent and a large fund of determination. Much of his 
later success comes from his careful study of the likes and dislikes of 
the music-buying public. He studies and analyzes titles, ideas, and 
melodies just as diligently and conscientiously as any broker studies 
the stock market. When most of his fellow writers are trying to imi- 
tate some hit or adhering to some waning cycle he aims to give the 
public something new, and if tyros would follow his method they 
would meet with more encouragement. 

At the present time some of the old and many of the new writers 
seem to think that the public is all wrapped up in war themes, pre- 
paredness, and ditties dealing with America, whereas the public is 
about sick of war, and there are so many worthless "America" and 
war themes on the market that a really good war song would have a 
difficult time in "getting over," unless a publisher had about ten 
thousand dollars to break down the prejudice that the public has 
taken against war songs. The public wants something more enter- 
taining. It is war in the newspapers, war at the dinner table, and 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 203 

when folks seek some place of amusement to forget war and its horrors, 
they are bombarded with a few war songs. 

Some persons appear to take a keen delight in doing the very 
thing that they are told not to do. For instance, hundreds send to 
publishers lyrics without a chorus, or with three different choruses, 
and they do this in spite of the fact that they have been told time and 
again that a publisher spends most of his time and energy trying to 
make the public familiar with one chorus — he aims to get everybody 
singing the same few lines. And these obstinate beginners refuse to 
believe that the chorus in a song is the all-important part, and that 
the emphasis or so-called "punch" must be placed there. Many of 
them turn out a chorus that has nothing whatever to do with the 
title, and if you were to erase the word chorus no one could tell the 
verses from the chorus. A well- written chorus practically tells the 
entire story of any song. The verse is a lead, essential to a certain 
extent, but of little value unless followed by a catchy chorus. Harry 
Von Tilzer, who has written hits for the past twenty years, does not 
bother about the verses until after he has secured a good chorus. 

Another fault common with beginners is that of having two 
verses that do not correspond in meter or rhythm. In popular songs 
the music that is written for the first verse must be adaptable to the 
second verse, and unless the meter and rhythm are exactly alike the 
melody will not fit; it makes little difference whether you have an 
equal number of words or syllables in each verse, if the corresponding 
syllables in both verses do not carry an equal amount of stress or 
cadence. If you cannot write in a musical lilt, borrow a tune that 
fits your lilt until you have finished, then discard the other man's 
melody and write a new one or give the work to the composer. He 
need not know of the artifice you employed to obtain a perfect rhythm 
and meter, and he will not be likely to fall into the same melody. 

When you write a lyric be prepared to say something — and say 
it as if you were telling it to a confidential friend. Do not use a yard 
stick and a rhetoric to write a popular lyric; write as you think in 
everyday life. And continue to say something in every fine. Note a 
few fines from some of the late hits : 

LAST NIGHT WAS THE END OF THE WORLD 
By Sterling and Von Tilzer 
We were alone in the moonlight, 
There in the shadows below, 
Last night to me in my dreaming, 
Seems thousands of years ago. 

Copyright, 1912, by Harry Von Tilzer Pub. Co. 

MY LITTLE DREAM GIRL 
By Gilbert and Friedland 
The night time, the night time is calling me, 
It's dream time, sweet dream time, 
For you and for me. 

Copyright, 1915, by Jos. W. Stern & Co. 



204 THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 

Sterling could have said, 

" Last night the moon was shining, 
Far in the heavens above, 
With bright stars all a-gleaming, 
Recalling dreams of love" 

or he could have used any similar lines, just as tyros do, but he knew 
that he would not be telling anything containing sentiment. He 
keeps the personal side before us from the very outset, and he tells 
us a definite story as he goes along. But in order to do this he 
had to have a story to tell before he began, something which the 
majority do not have when they try to write a popular song. Never 
try to write until after you have discovered and developed an interest- 
ing idea. 



The Writer's Magazine Guide 

Compiled by Anne Scannell O 'Neill 

FICTION 

" Rachel — The Woman of Fire," Albert Payson Terhune, Ainslee's, 

April, 1916. 
"The Question of Sex in Fiction," Current Opinion, April, 1916. 
"Mr. Henry James's Later Work," William Dean Howells, North 

American Review, April, 1916. 
"British Tributes to Henry James," Literary Digest, April 8, 1916. 
"More About Speeding-Up, " Florence Finch Kelly, Bookman, 

April, 1916. 
"Writing in Haste and Repenting at Leisure," Brander Matthews, 

Bookman, April, 1916. 
"How Time Has Tarnished the Reputed Brilliance of Oscar Wilde, " 

Current Opinion, April, 1916. 
"On the Road with Don Quixote," Ruth Kedzie Wood, Bookman, 

April, 1916. 
" Eight Novels of the Month, " H. W. Boynton, Bookman, April, 1916. 
"A New Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe," Lillian McG. Shepherd, 

Century, April, 1916. 

POETRY 

"The Remuneration of Poets," W. D. Howells, Harper's, April, 1916. 
"The Soul in Poetry," K. G., Poetry Review, March-April, 1916. 
"Poetry To-Day," Cornelia A. P. Comer, Atlantic Monthly, April, 

1916. 
"The New Naivete," Lewis Worthington Smith, Atlantic Monthly, 

April, 1916. 
"The Prosperous Poet," Joyce Kilmer, Bookman, April, 1916. 
"Don'ts for Poets," Current Opinion, April, 1916. 



THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE 205 

DRAMA 

"The Life of Charles Frohman, " Introducing Maude Adams, Daniel 

Frohman and Isaac Marcosson, Cosmopolitan, April, 1916. 
"On Writing Plays/' — a Satire; Bernard Shaw, Cosmopolitan, 

April, 1916. 
" Rich Prizes for Playwrights, " Dale Carnagey, American, April, 1916. 
"Aunt Sally Takes a Shy at the Critics," Marie Tempest, Vanity 

Fair, April, 1916. 
"Cervantes, Shakespeare and some Historical Backgrounds," James 

J. Walsh, Catholic World, April, 1916. 
"The Shakespeare Tercentenary," Katherine Bregy, Catholic World, 

April, 1916. 
"Shakespeare's Later Workmanship," Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, 

North American Review, April, 1916. 
"William Shakespeare, the Man and the Poet," Edward Fales 

Coward, Theatre, April, 1916. 
"William Shakespeare," with fifteen illustrations, Richard LeGal- 

lienne, Munsey, April, 1916. 
"The Poor Critic — and Poor Critics," Walter Prichard Eaton, 

Dramatic Mirror, April, 1916. 
"Psychology of the American Vaudeville Show," Current Opinion, 

April, 1916. 

PHOTOPLAY 

"A Sunlight Dumas" — C. Gardner Sullivan, Alfred A. Cohn, Photo- 
play, May, 1916. 
"Picture Play Magazine's Scenario Contest," Picture Play, May, 

1916. 
"The Twenty Greatest of Filmdom, " Robert Grau, Motion Picture, 

May, 1916. 
"Hints for Scenario Writers," Clarence J. Caine, Picture Play, May, 

1916. 
"Making a Million-Dollar Picture," Creighton Hamilton, Picture 

Play, April, 1916. 
"Method of Filming ' Under-Sea' Pictures," Current Opinion, April, 

1916. 
"William N. Selig on Screen Schools," Dramatic Mirror, April 8, 1916. 
"The Technical Scenario," Maurice Tourneur, Dramatic Mirror, 

April 8, 1916. 
"Film Men Reply to Brisbane," Photography, April 1, 1916. 

GENERAL ARTICLES 

"The Transformation of Mediocrities into Men of Genius," Current 
Opinion, April, 1916. 

"English and German Copyrights," Literary Digest, April 8, 1916. 

"What Would Shakespeare Think? " In " Point of View, " Scribner's, 
April, 1916. 

"Do You Want a Library in Your Town?" Elizabeth Girard, Picto- 
rial Review, May, 1916. 




Mr. Leeds has resigned his position as Editor of Scripts for Thomas A. Edison, Inc., in 
order to return to freelance writing. As an active member of "The Photodramatists," "The Play- 
wrights' Club," "The Society of American Dramatists and Composers," and kindred organizations, 
he is in a position to give our readers the benefit of the latest information on matters touching 
the photoplay and the drama. 

By Arthur Leeds 

When Dr. Esenwein and I wrote our text-book, " Writing the 
Photoplay," we devoted a chapter to "The Synopsis." I feel, now, 
that we would hardly have gone too far if we had given the subject 
two chapters. For a new condition has arisen in the script-writing 
game which — but, there you are! For the free-lance writer it can 
hardly be called the " script "-writing game any longer. By which I 
mean that, to-day, so many companies are buying synopses only that 
we are fast becoming synopsis writers rather than constructors of 
complete scripts. If, since you started in with the work, you have 
insisted on calling yourself a "scenario" writer, you will soon be 
either using the term even more incorrectly than in the past, or you 
will be confining your output to a very limited market. For a couple 
of years, at least, there have been one or two companies which 
advertised themselves as being in the market for "synopses only," 
but at the present time you need have no hesitation in sending the 
synopsis, and nothing else, to almost any of the more progressive 
concerns — provided, of course, that it is the right kind of synopsis. 
To mention only a few concerns — but these few are among the leaders 
— the Lasky, Famous Players, Gaumont, Metro, World-Equitable, 
and New York Motion Picture companies are just as ready to con- 
sider "detailed synopses" as to read complete scripts, and the check 
is usually quite as big as if the scenario were thrown in. 

If this seems strange to you, you must remember that we are 
still "up against" the by no means ideal condition of directors who 
change the story about after the scenario (here using the word 
correctly) reaches them, or else of the scenario department where 
ninety-nine scripts out of every hundred purchased are altered 
whether they really need it or not. Then, of course, it is also true that 
even in the few studios where some respect is shown for the writer's 
work as he originally turned it out, it is sometimes really necessary 
to make certain alterations in the story, both as outlined in the 
synopsis and as worked out in the scenario, in order to meet with 
studio conditions. Suppose, for example, a male and a female star of 
equal prominence are working together under a certain director (if 
you think, you can recall several such couples), and a good story is 
purchased for that director's use, the action offering excellent oppor- 
tunities for the male star. It need hardly be pointed out that the 
script will immediately be turned over to the staff writer who works 



THINKS AND THINGS 207 

up the stuff for that director so that he may make changes and 
additions — especially additions — whereby the female of the species — 
I should say of the team — is given a chance to stand out in the produc- 
tion. But that need not spoil your story; in fact, it often happens 
that the trained staff writer sees the opportunity for an added situa- 
tion or two, or some other new twist or complication, which materially 
adds to its effectiveness. To put it rather bromidically, it all depends 
upon the staff writer. And, after all, since it is not fiction that you are 
writing, why grow peevish if changes are made in your play? 

I remember how, at one meeting of The Photodramatists, in the 
days when it was known as the Ed-Au Club, someone asked how many 
of the members present could truthfully say that they had had a 
script produced exactly as written. Only four or five, out of some 
thirty men and women present, were able to assert that they had. I 
remembered having had one story produced — by Selig, if I am not 
mistaken — in which not only every scene but every leader (" sub- 
title, " if you prefer it) was given exactly as it appeared in my script. 
That, however, was a one-reel drama with its action so built up that 
it would have been next to impossible to change it without spoiling it. 
The sub-titles were very carefully chosen, and were the kind of sub- 
titles that that company liked — which doubtless explains why they 
escaped " chopping" at the hands of the sub-title editor. 

Some of you may remember Lew Fields' famous line, in one of 
the old Weber-Fields burlesques, "the foist dooty of a vaiter iss to be 
insuldink." Likewise, the first duty of a sub-title editor is to rip out 
your sub-titles and replace them with some of his own — and few of 
them neglect their duty! In justice to these men, however, it must be 
admitted that some otherwise excellent scripts are positively dis- 
figured with sub-titles that could be improved upon by many a twelve- 
year-old school-boy. Then, again, the heads of certain companies 
have preferences or prejudices which govern the sub-title editor in his 
daily work. One firm likes a long sub-title, with a " literary " flavor — 
long, even though there be no unnecessary words in it. Other firms 
want all the sub-titles, both the "plain statement" and "dialogue" 
titles, very short and to the point. Leave it to the sub-title man to 
change your leaders so as to conform with the firm's policy. 

All this, however, is getting away from the matter of which I 
started to write. The point to be kept in mind is that it will cer- 
tainly pay you to ascertain positively which form a certain company 
prefers — full script or synopsis only — before submitting. In the first 
place, if you are a "regular" writer, you are turning out as many as 
you can do and do well, and you are wasting no time on unnecessary 
labor. To write a complete script for, say, the Famous Players 
Company would simply be to devote many hours to work which will 
gain you nothing. Give them, on the other hand, a thoroughly good, 
clearly written synopsis of an unusually strong play for one of their 
regular stars, and you will almost certainly get both a check and a 
letter asking for more material. On the other hand, at the last 
Photodramatists' meeting, one member told of having sent a story — 
synopsis only — to a certain firm, only to have it returned. He then 



208 THINKS AND THINGS 

wrote the complete scenario for it and sent it straight back. Inside of 
a week he got a five-hundred dollar check. And, by the way, five- 
hundred dollar checks for five-reel stories are becoming more and 
more the " correct thing" every day. Only a few of the (very) old- 
line concerns — the heads and editors of which probably entered the 
United States via Ellis Island, and have not yet gotten over the habit 
of being extremely "saving" — are paying twenty-five and fifty 
dollars a reel at the present time. If you watch the columns of the 
trade papers you will find some such concern occasionally bursting 
the buttons off its vest with a thrilling announcement that it has 
"raised the price for comedy scenarios to $50 a reel," or something 
like that. The policy of such firms, to paraphrase a popular current 
slogan, seems to be "Millions for publicity, but not one cent (more 
than we have to pay) for scripts!" 

In handing out this tip about synopses, I trust I have not given 
the impression that the time has arrived to abandon the writing of 
complete scripts altogether, or even that such a time is fast approach- 
ing. Most of us feel that it is a case of accepting present conditions 
and being thankful that, in so many cases, good checks are forth- 
coming for a good story prepared with not more than two-thirds of 
the former labor. But there can be no questioning the value of a 
course of training in the preparation of the complete photoplay manu- 
script, whether that training is acquired by means of a good text-book, 
a reliable correspondence instructor, or — best of all, but hardest to 
get — right in the studio scenario department. If you have a thorough 
grasp of the technique of legitimate play writing, you will undoubtedly 
be better qualified to write a convincing scenario of your play than if 
you are but semi-familiar with the rules of dramatic construction — 
and there is, of course, a vast difference between the scenario of a 
stage play and that of a screen drama. Similarly, a course of training 
in photoplay scenario construction, however acquired, will help you 
in your writing of a clear, interesting, salable synopsis. Also, it is to 
be hoped — and most of us believe — that the time will come when the 
director will be the builder, working from the blue-print of the au- 
thor-architect. Then your knowledge of scenario construction will 
undoubtedly stand you in good stead. So, though you seize the pres- 
ent opportunities to dispose of "synopses only," be prepared to turn 
out a workmanlike complete script when called upon. 

Writing about sub-title editors and the work they do brought to 
mind the fact that so many of the men and women so employed fail 
to take into consideration that they, being on the inside, and familiar 
with the ramifications of the plot by reason of their conversations with 
the scenario editor, director, and — possibly — the author, have an 
advantage which it is not possible for the men and women making up 
the audience to share. If a character uses language which seems to 
the audience to be out of place, it is usually because the sub-title editor 
knowing all about the plot, also knows why such language is used, and 
so lets the film go out without bothering to explain, for the benefit of 



THINKS AND THINGS 209 

the spectators in the theatre, why such language is employed. As a 
case in point, take the Famous Players production of "Molly Make- 
Believe, " with the always delightful Marguerite Clark in the title 
role. I admit that, even at this late day, I have not read Eleanor 
Hallowell Abbott's story, and so cannot say what the time-lapse is 
between Molly's leaving home and her adventures while conducting 
"The Serial Letter Co." But in the photoplay we see the winsome 
Marguerite as a little girl — a mere child of fourteen or fifteen, and a 
country-bred child, at that. With her little brother, she runs away 
from her grandmother's house, determined to earn her own living and 
assist her grandmother in paying a debt. On the freight-train by 
which the children make their escape we see her pleading with the 
brakeman, using such language as "Please, Mr. Railroad Man, we 
ran away because," etc. When I saw the picture there was no sub- 
title indicating a lapse of time, although the action registered that 
there must have been a lapse of some weeks, or possibly a few months, 
between the train scenes and those in Molly's rented apartments. 
However that may be, in the latter two-thirds of the play Molly not 
only acts like a girl long familiar with the city and with the ways of 
society but is made to use language such as one looks for in the works 
of some of our well-known writers of drawing-room comedies. To say 
the least, it is not consistent, and therefore decidedly unconvincing. 
As one woman in the audience was heard to whisper to her neighbor, 
"Fancy a youngster talking like that!" In the films of such a repre- 
sentative firm as Famous Players, there seems to be no excuse for 
such inconsistencies. Another thing that has caused much comment 
is Lasky's trick of capitalizing certain words in ordinary "dialogue" 
or conversational leaders, which gives them a curious, not to say 
funny, George Ade effect. On the other hand, I would like to congratu- 
late Mr. Courtney, of Vitagraph, on his excellent sub-titles for so 
many of the dramas and comedies of that concern. The bigger the 
company, the greater the need for consistency in all things. 

Wherever you may go, whatever magazine or trade paper you 
may read, you will find the people who know, and whose opinions are 
respected, asserting that "screen stories written for the screen" are 
what is wanted by the audiences today. Writing in the Dramatic 
Mirror, Robert Grau says: "The day is, indeed, near when the 
producer of photoplays must need reckon with the decreasing supply 
of stars. Particularly will this condition be in evidence with those 
producers who seek the name and fame without regard to the celebri- 
ties' adaptability to the drama of silence ; but such a condition is the 
result of mere madness of the moment — wholly temporary. We must 
not forget that the greatest minds associated with all that is best in 
the theatre are now enthusiastic converts to the new art. Men and 
women of great thought are just beginning to be attracted to the film 
environment. From them will come a new literature for the screen — a 
literature all its own. Original photoplays written with the screen 
alone in mind will be presented with ideal rather than all-star casts." 



Contributions to this department are solicited. Paragraphs must be brief and the material 
based not on theory but on experience in any branch of pencraft. Mutual helpfulness and a wide 
range of subjects are the standards we have set for Experience Meeting. 

My experiences with Home and Country, Cincinnati, have not 
been encouraging from the standpoint of prompt dealings. In 
September, 1914, I left them an article which they accepted soon 
after, and published in July, 1915, promising to send me a check in 
several weeks. This they did not do, but in June and July, I sent 
them some more manuscript. In November, I wrote to them, and 
in response they sent me a check for $10. This is all I have ever 
received. I wrote them several times without reply and finally sent a 
draft through my local bank, but received only an evasive answer to 
the effect that they would take the matter up with me directly. This 
they did not do, however, until I had written them again, whereupon 
they explained that they were having difficulty in making payments. 
They have returned all of my manuscripts except one, and about this 
one I can get no reply. I merely mention these matters so that they 
may have due weight with intending contributors. — B. A. 

(After the foregoing note was in type and the magazine made up, The Writek's Monthly re- 
ceived word that Home and Country magazine has gone into involuntary bankruptcy and that un- 
paid contributors, as well as other creditors, will receive a due proportion of their claims, as the 
amount of the assets may determine. Burch, Peters and Connolly of Cincinnati are acting for the 
creditors.) 



Thoughts for articles or stories sometimes come when it is incon- 
venient to use a pencil. Frequently an idea comes to me in the night. 
As soon as it is clear in my mind, I condense it to a few words and 
repeat these impressively while I change the ring habitually worn on 
my right hand, to the left. The "new finger" calls attention as soon 
as I arise in the morning. I make my notation, and replace the ring 
on my right hand. 

The sleeping period is not for literary composition, but if a 
thought is bound to come, the sooner it is " filed" and sleep resumed 
the better. — L. E. Eubanks. 



We read of this and that way of "enclosing" or "attaching" 
stamps for the return of manuscripts; these are all careless, and all 
wrong. There is but one right way; put sufficient postage ON the 
addressed return envelope. If your manuscript is returned, that is 
where they must be. Don't ask an editor who returns your work to 
give you two kinds of a lick. If the manuscript is accepted, leave it to 
the editor to loosen and use your stamps, or toss them in the waste 
basket. — Anna S. Ells. 



EXPERIENCE MEETING 211 

Isn't it hard to sit down and make the words come as you would 
wish? Why not go to the nearest picture theatre and make a mental 
story of each picture as it goes through to its completion? Note the 
gestures of abhorrence, delight, love, respect; the facial expressions 
of the hero, the lower characters; the scene of horror, fright, murder; 
and the show of contentment, supreme happiness and so on; depict 
each movement as though you were at your Underwood — form quick, 
brief sentences as the actors play their parts. You will easily acquire a 
facile mode of style and you will give your writing a touch of realism. — 
Michael V. Simko. 



On August 5, 1915, I submitted a drama to Universal Film Mfg. 
Co., 1600 Broadway, New York. Since then I have written them 
repeatedly for a report and can get no reply. — John P. Lyons. 



In the February number of The Writer's Monthly you have 
Everyday Life listed as paying for stories on acceptance. They did 
not pay me on acceptance. I sent them a story February 23d. On 
March 13th, I received a letter of acceptance in which they said they 
would change the title of the story, if it was satisfactory to me, and 
pay on publication, promising to publish the same in their April or 
May issue. — Frank G. Davis. 



The keener became my interest in improvement and technique 
in general, the smaller my output. The matter got quite serious at 
length, and I had not yet reached the point where increased value of 
what I did do (to be quite frank, its value was for the time being 
decreased) made up for diminished quantity. The hours that I spent 
in planning and rewriting and studying were very well spent, but I 
needed results, too. I did the obvious thing and split my available 
time in halves. One half I devote to extremely rapid production of 
all kinds of materials — informative, practical and philosophical 
articles; notes and hints; short-stories, anecdotes and verse — and 
the other half of the time is free for the most painstaking and elabo- 
rate revision and construction. The result has been very happy. I 
unconsciously apply my newly learned principles in my rapid work; 
I learn to turn out a minimum of a thousand words an hour, no 
matter what the subject or how I feel; I make more money than 
before; and in my " serious time," as I call it, I am steadily master- 
ing the principles and methods that I have set my heart on. — J. G. 
McNear. 



Art simply represents man's passionate desire to drag the truth 
out of life in half a dozen different ways. God does it for you in 
the country. — E. Phillips Oppenheim, The Hillman. 




Timely, terse, reliable, and good-natured contributions to this department will be wel- 
come. Every detail of each item should be carefully verified. Criticisms based on matters of 
opinion or taste cannot be admitted, but only points of accuracy or correctness. 



The February number of American Magazine publishes "The 
Crack Marksman" by Cullen A. Cain. The preeminent character is 
Jerry Engle, who is suspected of breaking the new game laws. The 
point in discussion is whether or not the game warden will come to 
Warsaw — Jerry's home. In one of the first paragraphs of the story the 
writer says: "We read in the papers that his duty was to enforce the 
law against fishing with nets. But we never figured that the range of 
his activities would extend to Warsaw." In a following paragraph 
is the statement: "I knew the warden would not overlook a river 
town like Warsaw on his rounds." — L. Tracy O. 

A source of never-failing wonder to me is that so many people 
supposedly well-educated — writers, teachers, and college students — 
complacently disregard the correct use of pronouns. Sometimes these 
mistakes creep into print. For example: A writer in the February 
number of a magazine for writers asks from the "experts" sugges- 
tions for a working schedule. He says: "It's a series of fixed habits 
that it would help you and I just to know about. " 

No doubt he is right. But the "expert" would tell him first of 
all to make a fixed habit of studying English grammar. Before you 
mount the heights, Mr. Beginner, are you sure that you have that 
trusty staff to lean on — English, not "as she is spoke," but as she 
should be written? — B. Scott. 

The words "mental insanity" occurred in an article, "The 
Human Mind Versus the German Mind," contributed by Yale's 
Emeritus Professor of Philosophy in the January issue of The Hibbert 
Journal (an English quarterly). While the word insanity is derived 
from the Latin insana or unsound, there seems no excuse for adding 
the word mental in this instance. — Myrtiline H. Kirkpatrick. 

" At mass, two days ago, in the village here, where the shell- 
rents in the roof let in the sunset on the altar, I thought of that." 

This quotation from a story in the February Scribner's, " The 
Wife of the Junior Partner," by Edward C. Venable, is striking as an 
example of the danger of alluding to something with which one is 
not wholly familiar. As a matter of fact, Mass, in the Roman 
Catholic Church, is never celebrated after mid-day; consequently 
the sunset could not have been let in upon the service. — L. W. S. 




imETTfQp 



The Word 
Pagb_ 




Conducted by the Editor 

In this little Department will be found from month to month such notes, observations, and 
criticisms on the values and uses of words as may be contributed, or provided by the Staff of The 
Waiter's Monthly. No offerings can be considered that are not brief, pungent, and accurate. 
Not alone the authoritative word-books but also good usage will be taken as the standard. 

A friendly correspondent objects to the word "outrussias, " 
used by the editor of " Short-Story Masterpieces, Russian/' in his 
critique on Gorki. He says: " Neither Worcester's nor Webster's 
Unabridged Dictionaries give [gives?] 'outrussia' or 'russia' as a 
verb." 

New words do not come into the language by way of the diction- 
aries but are included in the word books after they have been coined 
and more or less widely used. This example, however, is not the 
sort of word that could ever be included in even the fullest dictionary. 
It is not really a new word at all, but an arbitrary compound, of 
which literature is full. It is perfectly justifiable to characterize a 
man or a movement by inventing a compound, so we shall always 
see such expressions as "Wilsonize the party," and "outherod 
Herod." The better forms would probably be " out-Russia" and 
"out-Herod." 

Once Kipling was found flat on his stomach reading the diction- 
ary. He may dramatize it some day. Yet the best word books are 
not necessarily those that group words in a lexicon, or by synonyms, 
or in categories of ideas. Rich profit, for a good example, is to be 
made by a study of Mr. Edwin Markham's new book of poems, 
"The Shoes of Happiness." Aside from the exquisite imagery of 
these verses long and short, and their big, fresh spirit of life, we find 
there the chosen word, fitly joined to other right words, all used so 
deftly that the thought flows to us on a stream of music. Here is a 
poet whose respect for English is a reverent passion. Take some 
hours of your study time and learn from Markham — but do not stop 
at the word-gate : enter into the palace. 

Apparent and evident are words frequently misused. Use " appar- 
ent" when there is doubt about the thing stated, and "evident" 
when there is absolutely no doubt about the statement made. 

— Lena C. Ahlers. 



The moment one vitally grasps the fact that he can rise he will 
rise, and he can have absolutely no limitations other than the limita- 
tions he sets to himself. — Ralph Waldo Trine. 



H. C. S. Folks 



Patrons and students are invited to give information of their published or produced material; 
or of important literary activities. Mere news of acceptances cannot be printed — give dates, 
titles and periodicals, time and place of dramatic production, or names of book publishers. 

Mary Catherine Parsons, of Brookline, Mass., has been contribut- 
ing a series of short articles to Selling Sense. The January, February, 
and March issues all contain interesting examples of her work. Miss 
Parsons also has a monologue in the Washington Courier for February 
12th. It is entitled "At the Bridge Club. " 

Phoebe Lowrie, of Mission San Jose, Cal., won the first prize 
for her letter, on the Bell Telephone Ad, in the July, 1915, Sunset 
Magazine. She also won the third prize in the January, 1916, contest. 

Cora Drew, of Los Angeles, Cal., has a special article in the April 
issue of The Motion Picture Magazine, entitled "Bees and Eagles." 

Nina M. Langford, of Toronto, Can., had a short humorous 
article on "Beds" in the February 16th issue of the Christian Guard- 
ian. She won the first prize in the "Bright Sayings" contest in the 
Toronto Weekly Star of March 11th, and has a pleasing story, entitled 
"A Fallen Idol, " in Onward for March 18th. 

Helen Sherman Griffith, of Philadelphia, has added another to 
her charming series of girls' books in "Letty of the Conservatory." 
It is brought out by the Penn Publishing Co., Philadelphia. 

Ellen E. deGraff, of Adams Centre, N. Y., has an effective two- 
part story entitled "Labor Without Reward" in the Rural New- 
Yorker, issues for January 22 and January 29. She also has a vigorous 
article in the March 25th issue of The Editor, entitled "Stick to It." 

Narena Brooks Easterling, of Jackson, Miss., has a charming 
story entitled "Marrying Off Leah" in Everywomari 's World for 
April. It is featured as the leading story of the month. 

Earl G. Curtis, of Richmond, Va., is publishing in various 
magazines with success. In the May number of Breezy Stories he has 
an effective piece of fiction called "The Duty of 8604." His work 
has lately come in for a favorable criticism in the Richmond Evening 
Journal. 

Jessie Hungerford Bender, of Newark, N. J., has a patriotic lyric 
in a recent issue of the Chatham Press. It has been dedicated to 
Col. Theodore Roosevelt, from whom she has received a letter of 
thanks. She is desirous of getting in touch with a song-writer of 
ability and originality, for a stirring melodious score. Inquiries sent to 
The Writer's Monthly will be promptly forwarded to her. 

"Ten Years After the Rube Broke the Record," a track story, 
illustrated by Bruce Cameron, and written by Harry Moore, editor of 
The Alvinston (Ont.) Free Press, appears in the April number of 
Canada Monthly. 




Bb>-^ 



to 

5ELI 




Our readers are urgently asked to join in making this department up-to-date and accurate. 
Information of new markets, suspended or discontinued publications, prize contests in any way 
involving pencraft, needs of periodicals as stated in communications from editors, and all news 
touching markets for all kinds of literary matter should be sent promptly so as to reach Springfield 
before the 20th day of the month preceding date of issue. 

The Public, Chicago, has had placed at its disposal $250 to be offered as a prize 
for the best scenario illustrating the Singletax idea. The scenario must tell a strong 
human story, illustrating the fundamental truths of the doctrine of social justice 
preached by Henry George and known as the Singletax, and it must be accepted 
for reproduction by one of the moving picture companies. In addition to the 
$250 cash prize, the author will receive half of the amount paid for his work by 
the "movie" concern. Entries must be plays in (1) Synopsis form, and (2) 
Complete scripts and a working scenario for the director. Manuscripts must be 
of a length suitable for a two-, a three-, a four-, or a five-reel film. They must be 
typewritten on one side of the paper only and double spaced. The competition 
will close on the first of September, 1916, and MSS. must be mailed on or before 
that date. The name of the prize winner will be announced in The Public and 
in the " movie" press as soon as possible after the award has been made. Colonel 
Jasper E. Brady, head of the Scenario Department of the Vitagraph Company, 
will be the final judge. He will be assisted bj r a competent reading committee 
in charge of Grace Isabel Colbron of New York. Every MS. must bear its in- 
dividual identifying word or symbol on the back, which must be repeated on the 
outside of the sealed envelope enclosed with the MS., containing the competitor's 
name and address. Care will be exercised to insure the safe return of MSS. 
accompanied by return postage, but The Public does not assume any responsi- 
bility for loss. Scenario writers who do not understand the Singletax can obtain 
literature from The Public's Book Department. Send 25c for pamphlets and 
copies of The Public. Suggestions for more extensive reading on the subject will 
be given without charge, and the Competition Editor will, if requested, be glad, 
where possible, to put a prospective competitor in touch with Singletaxers in his 
or her locality, who may be able to give helpful criticisms and suggestions from 
the Singletax point of view. While it is not absolutely necessary, and in no wise 
a condition, writers might with advantage bear in mind that a story, an illustra- 
tion of which would show the words, "Read The Chicago Public, a Journal of 
Fundamental Democracy," would be acceptable. This might be done by the 
display of the words on a poster in the background or something of that kind. 
Address all manuscripts to the Scenario Competition Editor, The Public, Ells- 
worth Building, Chicago, 111. 



At the request of many of the more prominent American poets, the time 
within which poems may be submitted for Newark's Poem Competition (particu- 
lars of which were given in the March Writer's Monthly), has been extended 
from April 10th to June lstJ1916. Thirteen cash prizes amounting to $1,000 
will be awarded. All contributions must be sent to the Committee of One Hun- 
dred, Newark, N. J. 

The David C. Cook Publishing Co., Elgin, 111., is in the market for Sunday 
School Christmas entertainments for Primary Departments — Playlets, Dialogues, 
Concerted Recitations, Tableaux, etc. They want particularly short, simple 
playlets or dialogues arranged for several children, such as the children them- 
selves will like to present, each with some striking and pleasing climax. Availa- 
ble manuscripts are paid for at the usual rate upon acceptance. Address con- 
tributions to "Christmas Entertainment Department," David C. Cook Pub- 
lishing Co., Elgin, 111. 



216 WHERE TO SELL 

In order to gather first-class material for a volume of anti-cigarette stories 
to place in school libraries, the Twentieth Century Club, of Detroit, Mich., offers 
three prizes of $20, $10 and $5 for the three best stories illustrating the effects 
of cigarette smoking. Stories should be from 2,000 to 5,000 words in length. 
Stories of sufficient merit, even though not prize winners, will also be published 
in the collection. All contributions should reach the Chairman of the Anti- 
Cigarette Committee by June 15th, 1916. A Bibliography of Anti-Cigarette 
Literature will be furnished for a two-cent stamp. Address: The Anti-Cigarette 
Committee, Mrs. O. E. Angstman, Chairman, 277 Putnam Ave., Detroit, Mich. 

Prizes of $250, $100, and $50, two honorable mentions worth $25 each, and 
five honorable mentions worth $10 each, are offered by the National American 
Woman Suffrage Association, for suffrage art posters to be used for window 
display and billboards. A prize of $25 is also offered for a suffrage slogan, con- 
taining not more than five words. For full particulars of these contests, which 
close October 1st, 1916, write the N. A. W. S. A. Headquarters, 171 Madison 
Av., New York City. 

Popular Science Monthly, 239 Fourth Ave., New York, offers a first prize 
of $25 and a second prize of $15 for articles for its "Radio Department." Articles 
should contain descriptions of how trouble in building, operating, adjusting or 
repairing any radio instrument or group of instruments have been overcome by 
amateur radio operators. Illustrations should be on sheets separate from the 
manuscript. Each manuscript must be accompanied by a letter containing 
criticisms of and suggestions about the wireless section of Popular Science Monthly, 
but the merit of the letters will not be considered in the awarding of the prizes. 
Articles should not contain more than 2,000 words, though it is permissible for a 
writer to send in several articles on different phases of the subject, each article 
being independent. 

The Lantern, San Francisco, Cal., is a small-sized monthly "periodical of 
lucid intervals," and tends to the sparkling and modern in content. Although 
the leading articles are written by the editors, prose, poetry, music, the drama, 
short-stories of the unusual sort, and terse epigrams are accepted from outsiders. 
We have no information on the subject of payment, so the author's requirements 
had better be stated when material is submitted. 

Cash prizes amounting to $1,000 are being offered in the " Old Familiar Songs " 
picturegame by Farm and Home, Springfield, Mass. The first prize is $250, the 
second $150, the third $100, the fourth $75, the fifth $50, the sixth $25, the seventh 
$15, and there are five prizes of $10 each, twenty prizes of $5 each, and 185 of $1 
each. For full particulars of this contest write Farm and Home, Springfield, Mass. 

Edward Schubert & Co., 11 East 22d St., New York, state they have dis- 
continued the buying of lyrics for some time. At present they let the composers 
select those which inspire them, and then buy from them both lyrics and music. 

P. J. Howley Music Company, Inc., 146 W. 45th St., New York, are at 
present overstocked with poems and will not consider anything more. 

Kendis Music Publishing Co., Inc., 145 W. 45th St., New York, are not 
in the market for lyrics at the present time. 

As a feature of the celebration of the 250th Anniversary of the Founding of 
the City of Newark, the New York Times will award approximately five hundred 
Tiffany silver medals and five hundred engrossed certificates of merit to the pupils 
of the public and parochial schools of Newark, who shall write the best essays on 
the founding and history of the city. These essays are to be based upon a series 
of articles by the Assistant Superintendent of the Newark city schools, to be 
published in the New York Times beginning Monday, April 24th. 

The American Boy, Detroit, Mich., is always in the market for vigorous 
stories of from 2,000 to 4,000 words, which appeal to boys of sixteen. Stories in 



WHERE TO SELL 217 

which character is combined with plenty of action are preferred. Crime stories 
and stories with girl characters are not wanted. Short humorous stories are par- 
ticularly desired at this time. Photographs accompanied by brief manuscripts 
of novel inventions and natural wonders find a good market. 

One of the conditions of the $1,000 play contest announced by Grace George 
(full particulars of which were given in the January issue of this magazine) has 
been changed. Whereas before only undergraduates could enter the contest, 
Miss George has now announced that graduate students will also be allowed to 
compete for the prize. The contest closes June 1. 

The National Institution for Moral Instruction, Washington, D. C., offers 
a prize of $5,000 for the best code of morals for children, which will be used as a 
standard in the schools and homes of this country. State superintendents and 
other prominent educators will appoint seventy code writers, who will each sub- 
mit a code, which will be limited to 3,000 words. The prize will be awarded to 
the best code. Writers who feel themselves qualified for such work should com- 
municate with the Superintendents of Public Instruction in their several states. 

Leo Feist, Inc., 235 West 40th St., New York, write that they already 
have more material on hand than they can use immediately, so, for the present 
at least, they are not interested in any additional manuscripts. 

Blue Bird Magazine has been transferred from Cincinnati, Ohio, to Cleveland, 
Ohio, and the subscription price has been raised from 50c to 75c a year. 

Everyboy's Magazine, published at Philadelphia, has been suspended. 

The American edition of The Strand Magazine, New York City, has been 
discontinued, because the ban placed upon the exportation of metals from Eng- 
land by Great Britain has made it impossible to send over the plates for reprinting 
in this country. 

Thresherman' s Review and Power Farming, St. Joseph, Mich., will hereafter 
be published under the title of Power Farming. 

Teaching is a new magazine devoted to Kansas educational interests. It is 
printed by the state printing plant, and edited at the Kansas Normal School at 
Emporia. Expert writers on educational subjects who are thinking of contribut- 
ing to this magazine should be careful to see a copy and learn its terms before 
making any offerings. 

A bi-monthly journal known as The California has appeared. Los Angeles 
is its publication headquarters, and it will support the prohibition amendments. 
George Vail Steep, who will edit the magazine, was formerly editor and publisher 
of Out West. 



STATEMENT OF THE OWNERSHIP, MANAGEMENT, CIRCULATION, ETC., OF 
THE WRITER'S MONTHLY CONTINUING THE PHOTOPLAY AUTHOR 

Published monthly at Springfield, Mass., required by the Act of August 24, 1912. 
Name and Postoffice Address 

Editor, J. Berg Esenwein, Myrick Bldg., Springfield, Mass.; Managing Editor, J. Berg 
Esenwein, Myrick Bldg., Springfield, Mass.; Business Manager , F. Arthur Metcalf, Myrick Bldg., 
Springfield, Mass.; Publisher, The Home Correspondence School, Springfield, Mass.; Owners: 
(If a corporation, give names and addresses of stockholders holding 1 per cent or more of total 
amount of stock.) Orlando Adams, Buffalo, N. Y.; Alfred H. Campbell, Windsor, Conn.; Estate of 
W. H. Cummings, Claremont, N. H. ; Walter L. Curtis, Mittineague, Mass. ; J. Frank Drake, Spring- 
field, Mass.; Alice L. Eaton, Springfield, Mass.; L. Howard Eaton, Springfield, Mass.; Jennie 
E. McLaughlin, So. Acworth, N. H.; F. Arthur Metcalf, Springfield, Mass.; Nellie Wyman, 
Meriden, N. H. 

Known bondholders, mortgagees, and other security holders, holding 1 per cent or more of 
total amount of bonds, mortgages, or other securities: None. 

(Signed) F. Arthur Metcalf, Bus. Mgr. 

Commonwealth of Massachusetts, County of Hampden. 

Sworn to and subscribed before me this twenty-ninth day of March, 1916. 

(Signed) George E. Fobs, Notary Public. 

(Seal) 

(My commission expires September, 1921) 



The Writer's 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwbin 

Entered at the Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by Thb Home Cobbz- 
spondbncb School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

IMPORTANT NOTICES 

Change of address must reach the publisher 
before the first of the month. No numbers can 
be duplicated when this rule has not been com- 
plied with. Subscribers must give old address 
when sending in the new, and specifically address 
the notice to The Writer's Monthly. 

Return postage must accompany all regular 
articles intended for publication; otherwise, 
without exception, unavailable manuscripts 
will not be returned. 

In no case can short items for the Depart- 
ments be returned if unavailable, therefore 
copies should be retained by the writers. 

Notices of accepted material will be 
sent promptly with payment on acceptance. 
However, items for " Critics in Council," 
"Paragraphic Punches," "Experience Meet- 
ing," and "The Word Page" will be paid for 
only in shorter or longer subscriptions to The 
Writer's Monthly, to be sent to any desired 
person. Items for the other departments will 
not be paid for. 

Vol. VII May, 1916 No. 5 

Fate has a strange way of 
accomplishing results which have 
not been reached by man's per- 
sistent efforts. The shortage of 
paper bids fair to force writers 
into ways of brevity, whereas 
"doctors" have pleaded long and 
in vain that our written English 
should be concise. The great 
war will also have its marked 
effects — some not so desirable 
as this one wrought by the paper 
famine! Father D wight, in 
America, ventures on a prophecy, 
which is given herewith in part. 
Probably Dr. Dwight thrust his 
tongue in his cheek while writing 
some of these lines — but which 
lines? 

"Elliptical phrases and laconic forms 
of expression will be every author's 



study. Yet an adequate corrective for 
this tendency will doubtless be found 
in the influence exerted on the literature 
of the post-bellum period by the 
language used in statesmen's books of 
divers colors and in the innumerable 
notes that diplomats have been writing. 
The cautious and impersonal way, 
moreover, in which our quotidian crises 
are announced by the daily press can 
not but affect the style of to-morrow's 
authors, and the passionate love for 
neutrality now so widely cultivated in 
the United States will without question 
leave its distinctive mark on our 
literature. 

"Figures borrowed from the new 
warfare now waged on land and sea and 
in the air will be permanently added to 
our poetical, descriptive, and rhetorical 
literature; adjectives, owing to their 
hopelessly unneutral character, will go 
out of use altogether, and the Murray 
of the future will be obliged to compile 
a large supplementary volume contain- 
ing nothing but the new words that the 
war has given our language. Perhaps 
the Saintsbury of to-morrow will make 
profound studies of the literary style 
that characterized the war-period, 
devoting special chapters to the psy- 
chology of headlines, to an examina- 
tion of how 'official reports' were 
rendered agreeable to the 'oldest sub- 
scriber,' and to making an analysis of 
the censor's influence on epistolary 
style. Perhaps the war will make the 
vocabulary of horror, carnage, and 
disaster grow so commonplace and 
familiar that when peace returns such 
words will become obsolete, and the 
weary literary world will describe the 
ruthless conflict by using euphemisms 
and periphrases. On the other hand, 
perhaps the imagination of authors will 
be so violently and permanently affect- 
ed by what they are now seeing, hear- 
ing, or reading of, that turgidity and 
cacophony will be the most striking 
characteristics of their style. For many 
a year to come guns may roar, shells 
scream, and the smoke of battle roll 
through our prose and verse, and the 
nations' madness in pouring all their 
wealth and manhood into the bottom- 
less whirlpool of the present war will 
afflict with chronic megalomania the 
writers who have beheld the specta- 
cle 

"Epics of the Great War, now seeth- 
ing in the heads of minor poets, will 
never be published, and metrical 
dramas without number will remain in 

manuscript for ay Quatrains will 

be condensed to couplets, and the 



EDITORIAL 



219 



epigram will enjoy an unprecedented 
vogue 

"As for the Sunday paper, it will, of 
course, become a mere reminiscence of 
its present self. The 'comic supple- 
ment/ to the joy of all good men, will 
disappear completely ; the ' pictorial sec- 
tion ' will dwindle to insignificance, and 
the 'magazine department' will follow 
the earlier fate of its monthly relatives. 
Indeed the editor's paramount duty 
will then be to determine what articles 
need not be written, rather than to toil, 
as he does now, to find a plethora of 
subjects for 'copy.' As an immediate 
result of this new editorial outlook, the 
army of scribblers, who to-day fill with 
useless or pernicious material the pages 
of countless periodicals, will be forced 
to find other employment 

"Instead of computing how many 
books they can bring out each year, 
publishers will aim to limit the number; 
instead of striving to produce a large 
paper, editors will plot and plan to 
condense the news into as little space 
as possible. Solemn meetings of the 
staff will be held to determine what de- 
partments of the paper shall be dis- 
continued; whether the social news, 
for example, should be sacrificed to 
leave room for a curtailed sporting- 
page, or whether the Wall Street news 
should be allowed to usurp the place 
of the editorials. " 



Those writers who apply busi- 
ness methods to their craft 
usually succeed. One might 
suppose that no writer who really 
wants to succeed would deliber- 
ately disregard the accumulated 
experience of an army of writers 
who have to an appreciable ex- 
tent succeeded, yet that is pre- 
cisely what many are doing every 
day. This magazine has printed 
and will continue to print so 
many articles of positive in- 
struction . that the old-time 
" don't" column may properly 
be reopened. By avoiding the 
courses here listed — and all suc- 
cessful writers know these to be 
bad policy — pen-craftsmen may 



save themselves much disap- 
pointment and useless labor. 



Five Big Danger Marks 

Don't send out soiled and torn 
manuscript. The editor may 
hesitate to approve what bears 
marks of having been the rounds, 
for he realizes that other editors 
are often right, and that he him- 
self is sometimes wrong. 

Don't send out a manuscript 
without being sure that in liter- 
ary quality, tone, length, and 
general merit it approaches the 
standard of the periodical to 
which it is to be offered. A need- 
less rejection slip can do no one 
any good. 

Don't assume that two, or 
five, or ten rejections of one 
manuscript mean that it is not 
salable. Reread it every time 
it comes back to see how you 
may improve it. If after several 
rereadings it shows merit, keep 
on submitting it, not less than 
twenty times. 

Don't allow yourself to be 
puffed up by the opinions of 
your family or your friends. 
Consider the number of amateur 
musicians you yourself have 
praised because you hesitated to 
wound. An honest professional 
will tell you the truth — your 
friends may not. 

Don't hesitate to revise. It is 
laborious, but you will certainly 
fail if you are afraid of hard 
work. The writer who says he 
cannot revise his work, means 
that he is unwilling to work long 
enough to learn how to revise. 
He may possibly attain a medi- 
ocre success but that is the outer 
limit. Be willing to learn how 
to do your best. 



The Writer's Book List 

Prepared by the Editorial Staff of The Writer's Monthly and Continued from Month to Month 
Any book will be sent by The Writer's Monthly on receipt of price. The prices always 
include delivery, except when noted. Send all remittances to The Writer's Monthly, Myrick 
Building, Springfield, Mass. 

GENERAL REFERENCE BOOKS FOR WRITERS 
THE READER'S REFERENCE LIBRARY 



The Reader's Reference Library consists 
of seventeen handsome volumes, crown 
octavo in size, printed on excellent antique 
wove paper, and attractively and durably 
bound in half morocco with gilt tops. 

Each volume is a work of the highest 
value and should be found on the shelves of 
every library making any pretensions to 
completeness. To the person who writes, 
they will be simply invaluable, and to the 
student and general reader they will be 
found of great assistance. 

Words, Facts, and Phrases . $2.50 

By Eliezer Edwards. A dictionary of 
curious, quaint, and out-of-the-way mat- 
ters. Full of suggestive ideas for the writer. 
631 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

Thesaurus of English Words and 
Phrases . $2.50 

By Peter Mark Roget, M.D., F.R.S. 
Classified and arranged so as to facilitate 
the expression of ideas and assist in literary 
composition. The value of this standard 
work consists largely in its groupings of 
words in their relationships under main 
thought-headings. It is therefore not only 
an aid to writing but to clear and extensive 
thinking. 747 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

A Dictionary of English Syno- 
nyms and Synonymous or 
Parallel Expressions . $2.50 

By Richard Soule. An excellent standard 
work. 488 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

The Writer's Handbook $2.50 

A condensed encyclopedia of rules of 
English writing, punctuation, proof-reading 
diction, style and literary usage in general. 
572 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

Chambers' Twentieth Century 
Dictionary of the English Lan- 
guage . . $2.00 

Edited by Rev. Thomas Davidson, assist- 
ant editor, Chambers' Encyclopedia. Over 
100,000 words and references. An authori- 
tative desk dictionary. 1,208 pp. Crown 
8vo. Half morocco. 

Chambers' Concise Gazetteer of 
the World . $3.00 

Topographical, statistical, historical. Newly 
revised edition, embodying the latest census 
figures. 768 pp. Crown 8vo. Half 
morocco. 

Chambers' Biographical Diction- 
ary $3.00 

Edited by David Patrick and Francis 
Hindes Groome. This new edition is in- 
valuable to all journalists. 1,002 pp. 
Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

Handy-Book of Literary Curiosi- 
ties .... $3.50 

By William S. Walsh. This book is not 
only a mine of information but full of germ- 
ideas for short and long articles. For an 



inventive mind it should pay for itself many 
times over. 1,104 pp. Crown 8vo. Half 
morocco. 

Curiosities of Popular Customs $3.50 

By William S. Walsh. Rites, ceremonies, 
observances, and miscellaneous antiquities. 
Just as valuable as the foregoing. 1,018 pp. 
Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

The Historic Notebook . $3.50 

By Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. 
With an Appendix of Battles. A thesaurus 
of historical information especially valuable 
in these days. 997 pp. Crown 8vo. Half 
morocco. 

A Dictionary of Miracles $2.50 

By Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. 
Imitative, realistic, and dogmatic. This 
author's ability to collect out-of-the-way, 
interesting information is well known. 
626 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 



The Reader's Handbook 



$3.50 

By Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. 
Famous names in fiction, allusions, refer- 
ences, proverbs, plots, stories, and poems. 
1,243 pp. Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

Dictionary of Phrase and Fables $1.50 

By Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. 
One of the best books of this admirable 
series. Gives the origin and meaning of 
thousands of interesting phrases and cus- 
toms. 1,440 pp. Crown 8vo. Half 
morocco. 

Facts and Fancies for the Curi- 
ous ... . $3.00 

From the harvest-fields of literature. A 
melange of excerpta collated by Charles 
E. Bombaugh, A.M., M.D. 647 pp. 
Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

A Book of Quotations, Proverbs, 
and Household Words . $3.50 

By W. Gurney Benham. An excellent 
collection. 1,256 pp. Crown 8vo. Half 
morocco. 

Heroes and Heroines of Fiction, 
vol. 1 Modern Prose and 
Poetry . $3.50 

By William S. Walsh. An exhaustive 
cyclopedia describing these characters and 
telling in what books they are found. 
Crown 8vo. Half morocco. 

Heroes and Heroines of Fiction, 
vol. 2 Ancient, Medieval and 
Legendary $3.00 

By William S. Walsh. A companion 
volume to the foregoing, including the 
famous characters and famous names in 
novels, romance, poems and dramas, classi- 
fied, analyzed and criticised. 379 pp. Half 
morocco. 

KW" Note. — Carriage is prepaid in the 
United States only when the entire set is 
ordered. 




uirie 



D 



■rifr-^rrr' 



No questions can be answered by mail, nor can we supply names of players taking part in 
certain pictures. Questions relating to the writing, sale, and production of photoplays and other 
literary forms will be answered in this column, but readers are asked to make their letters brief 
and to the point. 

MRS. METTA TYLER.— Practically all of the reliable popular publishers 
will consider lyrics without melodies. Some of the reliable ones are: Leo Feist, 
235 W. 40th St., New York; Jos. W. Stern & Co., 102 W. 38th St., New York; 
Harry Von Tilzer, 125 W. 43d St., New York; P. J. Howley, 146 W. 45th St., 
New York; Will Rossiter, 135 W. Lake St., Chicago; Shapiro, Bernstein Co., 
224 W. 47th St., New York. 

S. L. HUMPHREY. — In indicating the repetition of a scene used previously, 
either in the same reel or in a preceding reel, it will be quite enough to give your 
directions somewhat as follows: 2. Denison's Library, same as Scene 10, 
Reel 1. 

A. F. — (1) All sorts of arrangements prevail in the publication of vol- 
umes of poetry. Poets of experience usually collect in book form such of their 
poems as have already appeared in magazines and add others of their unpub- 
lished poems to complete the collection. It is safe to assume that any poet 
who has been unable to sell at least some of his poems to magazines would not 
find the publication of a book of poems profitable. The fact that the public is 
familiar with the name and the work of a poet who is appearing in the magazines 
is in itself an indication that they might like his work in book form, but they are 
very unready to purchase poetry in book form when the name of the writer is 
practically unknown. (2) Methods of successful writers differ. The majority 
of the newer writers compose directly on the typewriter, but many of the more 
finished literary artists write in longhand and have their work transcribed or 
transcribe it themselves. (3) We do not know what are the methods of Robert 
W. Chambers, Jack London, and Rex Beach. This subject would hardly be in- 
teresting enough for a general article for the reason that it is utterly impossible 
for one writer to advise another as to the best method of composing. This has 
to come by experience. The writer of this note has tried in vain to learn to com- 
pose on the typewriter, and he has written more than a dozen books. 

H. H. F. — (1) It is customary to publish books on a royalty basis and the 
most reliable publishers follow this practice. Now and then, a reliable concern 
makes an offer to buy outright. It would be impossible to give you a list of all 
the reliable book publishers. The following, however, are among the best known : 
Chas. Scribner's Sons, Harper Brothers, Century Company, all of New York City; 
J. B. Lippincott & Co., Philadelphia; Doubleday, Page & Co., Garden City, 
L. I., N. Y.; Little, Brown & Co., Houghton, Mifflin Co., both of Boston; and 
A. C. McClurg & Co., Chicago. There are, of course, many others. (2) It is 
impossible to state the length of time required to examine manuscripts. It varies 
from a week to two months. (3) "The Technique of the Novel," Horn, published 
by Harper Brothers, is a good work on the technique of novel writing. 

C. V. M. — (1) We should advise you not to dispute regarding the trifling 
difference between one-half cent a word and three-fourths cent. You might, 
however, suggest to them that you had been led to believe that their rates were 
higher. (2) There is no way of telling which publications pay the best, except 
by experience. Usually the magazines with the largest circulation pay the high- 
est rates, and can well afford to. 



THE FOURTH ESTATE 

CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, NEW YORK 
The News 

For over two decades The Fourth Estate has been furnishing the 
newspaper and advertising world with prompt reports of the happen- 
ings in this great field of endeavor and accomplishment. 
But $2.00 

In the course of one year, fifty-two issues, over 21,000 items of interest, 
information, importance and genuine value, are furnished to sub- 
scribers for $2.00. 
An Army of Generals 

The subscription list of The Fourth Estate is a representive roll of 
the men who are known for their activities and accomplishments in the 
advertising and newspaper field — a real army of generals. 
Fifty Millions in Newspapers 

A canvass of those on the subscription list who direct the advertising 
investments of large concerns shows that regular readers of The Fourth 
Estate spend approximately $50,000,000 annually in newspapers. 
Earnest Advocate of Advertising 

The Fourth Estate has concentrated its efforts for almost a quarter 
of a century in having the newspaper recognized as the premier publicity 
medium — and its efforts have borne fruit. 
Two Things YOU Can Do 

For the news of the great field it covers — read The Fourth Estate. 
To reach those who spend millions in newspaper advertising and buy 
the machinery and supplies for newspaper making — advertise in The 
Fourth Estate. 

Sample copies, rates and information furnished to 
those interested with greatest of pleasure. 

THE FOURTH ESTATE 

CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, NEW YORK 

The Poetry Review of America, a monthly periodical devoted to 
the interest of America poetry in all its phases, will begin publication 
May the first. Its subscription price is one dollar the year — single 
copies ten cents. 

For the furtherance of its purpose, The Poetry Review of America 
will endeavor: 

By the formation of Poetry Reading Circles and Poetry Societies, 
and by the promotion of private and public recitals of poetry to 
bring together lovers of poetry with a view to extending and de- 
veloping the interest in, and appreciation of, poetry. 
To consider all suggestions and to act upon those which will help 
to enlarge and intensify the poetic spirit of America. 
To bring together for their mutual benefit and pleasure the poets of 
America and the public which they serve. 
The Poetry Review of America asks you to help the cause to which 
it is dedicated by sending: 

Your subscription, with one dollar, to The POETRY REVIEW, 
12 Chauncy Street, Cambridge, Mass. 
The names of your friends who are interested in Poetry. 
Your books of poetry and those relating to poetry for acknowledge- 
ment and review. 

Your unpublished poems and articles relating to poetry for our 
consideration. We shall pay upon acceptance. A stamped and 
addressed envelope should accompany your contributions. 
News of the Poets, Poetry Societies, and of the publishers of Poetry. 

Among contributors to the early issues of the Poetry Review are: 
Edwin Arlington Robin- John Gould Fletcher Benjamin R. C. Sow 

son Louis V. Ledoux George Sterling 

RlDGELT TORRENCE ROBERT FROST VaCHEL LlNDSET 

Amelia Josephine Burr Edgar Lee Masters Herman Hagedorn 

Louis Unter meter Witter Bynner Dana Burnett 

Sara Teasdale Percy MacKaye Richard Le Gallienne 

Amy Lowell Josephine Preston Pea- James Oppenheim 

Joyce Kilmer body 

William Stanley Braithwaite, Editor Joseph Lebowich, Associate Editor 

Please mention The Writer's Monthly when writing advertisers. 



Short-Story Writing 




Dr. Bsenwein 

and Verse Writing, Journalism; 



A COURSE of forty lessens in the history, form 
stroetare, and writing of the Short-Story taught by 
Dr. J. Berg Esenweia, formerly Editor of Lippin- 
cott's Magazine. 

Story-writers must be made as well as bora; they 
must master the details of construction if they would 
turn their talents to aeeount. 

May we send you the names of students and gradu- 
ates who hare succeeded? And the craeeess their let- 
ters prove is practical. It means recognition, aaeepted 
manuscripts and cheeks from editors. 

One student, before completing the les- 
sons, received over $1000 for manuscripts 
sold to Woman's Home Companion, 
Pictorial Review, McCalVs, and other 
leading magazines. 

We also offer eourses in Photoplay Writing, Poetry 
in all over One Hundred Home Study Courses, many of 



them under professors in Harvard, Brown, Cornell, and other leading colleges. 

250-Page Catalog Free. Please Address 

THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL, 
Department 78, Springfield, Mass. 



Eagle "Mikado" Pencil 
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and contains the very finest specially 
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OUR SCRIPT 
CRITICISM SERVICE 

Up till now our charge for giving an 
expert criticism on any and all scripts, 
regardless of length, has been two dol- 
lars. In announcing a change we do not 
do so because others are charging more, 
but because we find it absolutely neces- 
sary in view of the increased number of 
multiple-reel scripts which are being 
sent in for criticism. In the future 
therefore, our charge for this service will 
be TWO DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST 
REEL AND ONE DOLLAR FOR 
EACH ADDITIONAL REEL. Writers 
will continue to receive the very best 
and most careful criticisms and sugges- 
tions that Mr. Powell can give them. 

We reserve the right to return any 
script that we deem absolutely un- 
worthy of criticism, making a charge of 
one dollar for reading the script and 
giving the writer an expert opinion of 
the script's merits and short-comings. 
Such a letter will equal the "criticism" 
given by many who offer such service, 
the only difference between this and our 
full criticism service being that Mr. 
Powell will not examine and comment 
upon each and every scene in detail. 
(Fees do not include return postage which 
should always accompany manuscripts). 

The Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 



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UNDERWOODS 

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TYPEWRITER EMP0RiUM = Cfaicago(Est.l892) 



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Experienced Authors' Agent, Reader 
and Critic, Specializing in Short Stories. 
Reading fee. $1.00 for 5,000 words or 
under, includes short criticism. 

CIRCULARS ON REQUEST 

6814 Chew St., 
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 



What 

New Thought 

Does 

It dissolves fear and worry. 

It brings power and poise. 

It dissolves the causes of disease, 
unhappiness and poverty. 

It brings health, new joy and 
prosperity. 

It dissolves family strife and 
discord. 

It brings co-operation and de- 
velopment. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox Knows 

the value of New Thought; and she tells 
about it in the little booklet, "What I Know 
About New Thought." More than 50,000 
persons have sent for this booklet. 

FOR 10 CENTS you can get the above 
booklet and three months' trial subscription 
to Nautilus, leading magazine of the New 
Thought movement. Edwin Markham, 
William Walker Atkinson, Orison Sweti 
Marden, Edward B. Warman, A. M., 
Horatio W. Dresser, Paul Ellsworth, Kate 
Atkinson Boehme, Lida A. Churchill and 
many others are regular contributors. 
Elizabeth Towne and William E. Towne 
are the editors. Send now and for prompt 
action we will include the booklet, "How 
To Get What You Want." The Elizabeth 
Towne Company, Dept. 960, Holyoke, 
Mass. 



AMERIKA ESPERANTISTO 

(The American Esperantist) 
$1.00 PER YEAR 

An international monthly in Eng- 
lish and Esperanto, — the interna- 
tional language. 

"I never understood English 
grammar so well until I began 
the study of Esperanto." 
Send 10c for sample copy and re- 
ceive a "Key to Esperanto" 
FREE. 

The American Esperantist Co., Inc. 
Dept. W 
WEST NEWTON, MASS. 

SONG LYRICS AND 
MELODIES 

Why try to market a lyric or a 
melody that possesses no commercial 
value? Why become a victim to the 
honeyed words of the song shark? 

A good song by a beginner may not 
bring a fortune in royalties, but if 
properly marketed it will bring some 
financial returns and afford the tyro a 
start. 

The Writer's Monthly for a small 
fee will examine your lyric or song, give 
you a frank and detailed criticism on it, 
tell you whether it has any commercial 
and poetical value, and give you a list 
of publishers most likely to purchase it. 

Should the song contain sufficient 
merit, our Song Department will 
market same for you on a 10% com- 
mission basis, provided you are willing 
to sell your work outright. 
Reading fee for separate lyric . 1.80 
Reading fee for a complete song. 2.50 
Address: 

Song Dept., Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 

(Return pontage should accompany all 
manuscripts) 



THE ART OF VERSIFICATION 

By J. Berg Esenwein and Mary Eleanor Roberts 

The most complete, practical and helpful 
working handbook ever issued on the Prin- 
ciples of Poetry and the Composition of all 
Forms of Verse. 

Clear and progressive in arrangement. 
Free from unexplained technicalities. In- 
dispensable to every writer of verse. Money 
cheerfully refunded if not all that we claim 
for it. 

"There is no 'better book than this for 
those who wish to study the art of Versifi- 
cation. A poet must be both born and 
made ; this book will help to make him. — 
Edwin Markham. 

Cloth, XII+310 pp. Uniform with the 
Writer's Library. Postpaid $1.62. 
The 60-page chapter on "Light Verse" 

alone is worth the price to writers. 
Write Today for Table of Contents and Opin- 
ions of Successful Writers. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
Springfield, Mass. 



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COMPLETE YOUR FILES OF 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

We have on hand a few complete files of THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
new series, from May, 1913 to May, 1915 (June-July, 1913, being a special 
double number). These twenty-five monthly numbers, placed in your 
working library will give you 840 large pages crammed with instructive 
articles and helpful information for writers. Among the interesting 
features in these numbers of the magazine are the delightfully readable 
personality sketches of Epes Winthrop Sargent, William Lord Wright, 
Marc Edmund Jones, F. Marion Brandon, Horace G. Plimpton, Maibelle 
Heikes Justice, Frank E. Woods, George Fitzmaurice, Russell E. Smith, 
James Dayton, Hettie Gray Baker, C. B. Hoadley, Arthur Leeds, William 
E. Wing, Henry Albert Phillips, John Wm. Kellette, Catherine Carr. 
Phil Lonergan, Raymond L. Schrock, Beta Breuil, Gilson Willetts ana 
A. Van Buren Powell. Many of our readers have declared that this 
monthly feature is alone worth the price of a year's subscription. The 
department. "Thinks and Things," has also helped to make this helpful 
little periodical famous. The series of articles on "Photoplay Construc- 
tion," by J. Berg Esenwein and Arthur Leeds, running through many 
numbers, should be read by everyone who is seeking to perfect his technical 
knowledge. "Diagnosis and Culture of the Plot Germ," by John A. Mc- 
Collom, Jr., is a series of six articles that will prove invaluable to the 
writer who experiences difficult}' in developing the "plot habit," that most 
necessary equipment to a successful literary career. Scores of special 
articles by the most prominent editors, critics, and photoplay writers of 
the day make these issues of the magazine a veritable working library of 
photoplay knowledge. 

While they last, we offer these twenty-five numbers to our readers for 
$2.00. Send your order to 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 



CORRECT ENGLISH- 
HOW TO USE IT. 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE. 
Josephine Turck Baker, Editor. 

Your Everyday 
Vocabulary — 

HELPS FOR SPEAKERS 
HELPS FOR WRITERS 

Business Letter Writing- 
And Business English. 

and many other subjects 
Sample copy 10c. 

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS. 



AUTHORS 
And Literary Workers 

Send 25 cents for 3 
months' half-rate trial 
subscription for THE 
D I A L— "the leading 
journal of literary criti- 
cism in America." It 
will keep you in touch 
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— every other Thursday 
— at $2 a year, or 10 cents 
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THE 

DRAMATIST 



A Magazine devoted exclusively 
to the Science of Play Con- 
struction. 

Current plays analysed in such 
a way as to afford the student 
a grasp of applied dramatur- 
gic principle. 

Endorsed by all leading Play- 
wrights, Managers and In- 
structors. 

Subscription $1.00 a Year 

Specimen copy 10 Cents 



The DRAMATIST 

EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA 



A JOURNAL FOR ALL WHO WRITE 

The Writers 



Monthl 



Continuing THE PHOTOPLAY A 




Edited by 



J. BERG ESENWEIN 



VOLUME VII 



JUNE 1916 



NUMBER 6 



%\t Wzy ant» tfo Croton 

C^e totfter neeos a roao, not a 
cat; a staff, not a crutch 
fooo, not stimulants; criticism, 
not flattery ano toit^al lobe, 
ttyat tyt journey mat seem not 
too long, t^e goal not too ois* 
tant, ano ti&e croton toott^ all t^e 
Strtbing, 

— 3- ^Sers Csentoem 




REAL HELPS FOR WRITERS 

The seven volumes listed below are issued in uniform size and style, printed on 
superior antique book paper, and handsomely and durably bound in cloth, with letter- 
ing in gold and gilt top. Together they constitute the most helpful series of authorita- 
tive working handbooks for the writer's desk. 12 mo., postpaid at prices quoted. 

THE AST OF STORY WRITING Esenwein and Chambers. Dr. Esenwein's latest 
work on Story Writing. A direct and effective guide to actual fictional narration. The 
chapter on plot alone is worth the price of the book to any writer, zi + 211 pp. $1.S6. 

WRITING THE SHORT-STORY Esenwein. The standard textbook on the technique 
of the Short-Story. Widely used in colleges and universities. A complete course includ- 
ing theory, models and practice exercises in actual writing, xiv + 441 pp. $1.25. 

STUDYING THE SHORT-STORY. Esenwein. A companion book to Writing the 
Short-Story. Sixteen short-story masterpieces, with methods for analysis. No writer 
and no lover of good stories can afford to miss this well-spread feast, xxxii -f- 438 pp. 
81.26. 

THE TECHNIQUE OF THE MYSTERY STORY. Carolyn Wells, With introduction 
by Dr. Esenwein. A complete exposition of the mystery story form. A book that stimu- 
lates insight into the methods of successful writers of plotted stories and at the same 
time cultivates fertility in the mind of the reader, ix + 836 pp. $1.62. 

WRITING THE PHOTOPLAY. Esenwein and Leeds. The standard textbook on 
photoplay construction. Recently reported by the New York City Public Library as the 
book second in demand, outside of fiction, ix + 874 pp. Illustrated. $2.12. 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION. Esenwein and Roberts. A practical working hand- 
book of the principles of poetry and the structure of verse forms, xii + 810 pp. $1.62. 

THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING. Esenwein and Carnagey. An Inspirational 
working handbook of instruction for all who would be student public speakers. A book 
with a "'punch" oa every page. xi -f 312 pp. $1.75. 

// en inspection a buok is found undesirable and it ie returned within ten daye, the pur- 
chase price, less postage, will be refunded. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY. Springfield. Mass. 



A Weil-Known Writer says: 

"Webster's New International 

is a marvel of completeness. It is an indispensable 
feature of the library of every man who either reads 
or writes. There is no matter of land, sea or sky that 
does not come within its purview and every topic is 
handled by a master." 




400,000 Vocabulary Terms. Hew Oazetteer 
12,000 Siegrapfclcal Entries. 2700 Paces. 
Over SOOO giUmeiratlons. Celered Plates 

Regular Edition. Printed en strong book 

reaper of ih$ highest Quality. 
?suUa-Pap«r Edition. Oniy half mi thick, 

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The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 



Volume VII 



June, 1916 



Number 6 



INFORMATION AND METHOD ITEMS— J. Berg Esenwein . . 227 

A MENTAL TONIC— Aldis Dunbar 231 

THE AGRICULTURAL PRESS— A GOOD MARKET IF YOU KNOW 

WHAT TO SUBMIT— Katharine Grimes 232 

THE LION'S SHARE— A CRITICISM— James A. Brown . .234 

WHAT IS "INTEREST"?— Barry Scobee 235 

MY LITERARY NOVITIATE— L. E. Eubanks 237 

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE EDITOR OF "SHORT STORIES"— 

Dale Carnagey .......... 239 

THE SURE-FIRE INTRODUCTION— Felix J. Koch .241 

HELP FOR SONG WRITERS— NEW OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE 



YOUNG WRITER— E. M. Wickes 

GLEANINGS— Anne Scannell O'Neill 

PUBLISHERS OF POPULAR MUSIC— Compiled by E. M. Wickes 

THE WRITER'S MAGAZINE GUIDE— Anne Scannell O'Neill 

PHOTOPLAY NEWS— Compiled by E. M. Wickes 

A REPLY TO MR. PLAYTER— Cruse Carriel . 

THE RETORT COURTEOUS . 

THE BULLETIN BOARD— DEPARTMENT 

EXPERIENCE MEETING— DEPARTMENT 

CRITICS IN COUNCIL— DEPARTMENT . 

THE WORD PAGE— DEPARTMENT 

PARAGRAPHIC PUNCHES— DEPARTMENT 

H. C. S. FOLKS— DEPARTMENT 

EDITORIAL 

WHERE TO SELL— DEPARTMENT . 
ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES— DEPARTMENT 



242 
246 
247 
248 
250 
261 
252 
253 
254 
255 
258 
259 
260 
262 
264 
268 



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Copyright, 1916, by The Home Correspondence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
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Vol. vii June, 1916 Number 6 

The Writer's Monthly 

Continuing The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for All Who Write 



Information and Method Items 

An Advance Chapter from the forth-coming Book, u Writing for the 
Magazines" by J. Berg Esenwein. 

Not all magazine writing is literary, either in purpose or in 
method, for a considerable body of it consists of highly condensed 
paragraphs of information and methods of work. 

The writer who is determined to gain experience and make his 
pen-work pay from the start will harbor no false shame but will at 
once give some attention to the markets for such paragraphic items. 
Whether these are to remain his chief, or perhaps only, means of 
getting into print will depend on ability plus push. How much energy 
he takes from larger work in order to devote it to such writing he must 
himself decide, but at all events it is decidedly worth while to search 
out items for the markets and markets for the items. Many depart- 
mental editors — not all of whom, by any means, are resident in the 
city of publication, or devote their entire time to the work — have 
won their chance by showing ability to send in helpful and reliable 
paragraphs in sufficient number and frequency to attract the editor- 
in-chief. One must begin somewhere, and a very good step is at the 
bottom of the stairs. Even if you despise the occasional dollars — or, 
in some cases, subscriptions, merchandise, or advertising space — 
which may be offered as pay for paragraphic material, why contemn 
the exercise in versatility which all such writing affords? 

1 . The Necessary Equipment 

For writing paragraphic items the prime requisite is interest in 
this kind of material. Examine all the domestic, agricultural, busi- 
ness, popular science, and other specialized magazines you can. Note 
how many of them have departments made up chiefly or wholly of 
information paragraphs, discoveries, short cuts, methods of work, 
and curious or interesting matters. If these interest you, you can 
furnish something on like lines. Even when a department seems to 
be written entirely by a department editor and the paragraphs are 
not signed, remember that many of them are bought from contribu- 
tors. Some such paragraphs, indeed, are pilfered from various 
sources and with slight rewriting appear under the department 
editor's name, but reliable periodicals do not encourage this sort of 
thing — there are real markets for your ideas, if you sift the grain. 



228 INFORMATION AND METHOD ITEMS 

An observing eye is also necessary — no amount of anxiety can 
atone for its lack. Alertness of mind is the discoverer's principal 
qualification. What one overlooks the other coins into legal tender. 
Observe not only the kinds of material used, but the facts and habits 
of life all around you. 

A handy note-book is the next thing needful — what is recorded 
will not escape. 

The habit of absolute accuracy is the final pre-requisite. A mis- 
take in the recipe, a slight misstatement of fact, a name wrongly 
spelled, a conclusion based on too little data, an oversight in omitting 
one step in the process, will work trouble or danger for someone. 
Your inaccuracy is likely to be reported, with the result that at least 
one door will be closed to the contributor whom the editor has relent- 
lessly labeled "unreliable." Feel your responsibility, and from the 
outstart spare no pains to establish the utter accuracy of the most 
trivial contribution. Aside from the matter of self-respect, you will 
be forming an invaluable literary habit. 

2. Where to Find Material 



It is everywhere, of course; but specially where? 

Tap the veins of daily experience. Has not your own use of broom 
and butter and bed-linen taught you some unique economy of time 
or material? Does not the care of your automobile, the management 
of your office detail, the use of your clothes, a precaution, a remedy, 
a sales method, an accounting device, a church or a home entertain- 
ment, suggest something of value to others? Turn your eyes inward 
to see the what and the how that may prove helpful. If you know 
of no immediate market, store the idea in your note-book. The blind 
political economist of England, Fawcett, has defined capital as "the 
results of saving laid up to assist future production." Be a mental 
capitalist. 

Study the lives and work of others. A visit to a school, a sanita- 
rium, an asylum; a conversation with a traveller, an artist, a tramp; 
the pages of a foreign newspaper, a book, an old magazine — these 
and uncounted other sources of information are fairly clamoring to 
be opened. You need not depend altogether on first-hand experience 
or observation. Tell some business, professional, or home-keeping 
friend of what you are trying to do — out of their experience-pack 
they will draw something to help you, and others through you. Not 
infrequently, you will find material for a full-length article where 
you thought to gather merely a paragraph. 

In seeking help from persons and printed matter you should, 
however, stand on your own feet so far as possible. If your friend 
gives you a suggestion, tell him you are going to use it. It may not 
be necessary to give credit in the paragraph, but your friend may be 
intending to use the idea himself, so your frankness will save embar- 
rassment — and a friendship. 

Never offer for publication recipes and devices culled from 
printed matter unless by experiment you have been able to make the 



INFORMATION AND METHOD ITEMS 229 

method your own by improving upon it. In literary uprightness it is 
better to lean backward than forward. 

Inventiveness is a rich source of " methods" material. Though 
invention is a native gift, inventiveness is a habit of mind, and hence 
may be cultivated. Many brains teem with fresh ideas of how to do 
things, but because no revolutionary patents seem in prospect the 
schemers allow their ideas to flit by unrecorded and unused. When 
any such idea comes to you, and you feel that you are not likely to 
put it on the market because it is not big enough to warrant large 
exploitation, make a note of it, test its value if possible, and offer it 
for sale to some magazine. 

The camera and the sketch pencil are both sources of and adjuncts 
to paragraphic material. Some magazines make a specialty of using 
illustrations with reports of inventions and discoveries. Others use 
pictures to show strange happenings, freaks of nature, and interesting 
personalities. Your own collection of snap-shots may suggest a 
marketable item, and also teach you to carry your camera on journeys 
and walks so as to be ready for the interesting and the unusual. The 
camera, too, proves to the editor that your report is not a "fake." 

Remember that a clear print is absolutely necessary, and that 
glazed paper makes the best reproduction. Write your name and 
address on the back of the photograph, add your descriptive material 
in the fewest, briefest and most striking words possible, and mail the 
photograph flat and so packed that it cannot break. Study the 
special requirements of magazines that use photographs, for the 
demand in this field is highly specific. 

No great skill in draughtsmanship is demanded in sketching 
devices and inventions for the magazine. If you have such skill, all 
the better, but if your idea is good enough and it is sketched plainly, 
the editor will have the necessary drawing made. 

3. How to Write a Paragraph 

Make a study of the following items with a view to discovering 
the methods the writers have used. Add to this examination a 
scrutiny of paragraphs in other periodicals, and the time spent will 
repay you. 

RAISING THE SPELLING STANDARD 

Desiring to raise the standard of spelling in my school, I adopted the follow- 
ing plan. At the beginning of the month every pupil is on the honor roll. If any 
one misses five words during the month he is dropped from the honor roll. Those 
who remain on it at the end of the month are photographed. I have a Brownie 
camera and do the work myself. This picture is mounted on a paper bearing the 
names of Honor Pupils. At the end of the year each pupil who has been on the 
honor roll every month receives a booklet containing a picture of the honor roll 
pupils for every month. — Normal Instructor and Primary Plans. 

MILK FOR POULTRY 

The most valuable poultry food available on most farms is milk. Many 
farmers feed all their surplus milk to the hogs. Milk, when fed to hogs, makes 
flesh that sells for seven or eight cents a pound. When fed to poultry, especially 
during the winter months, it makes eggs that sell for twenty-five cents a pound, 



230 INFORMATION AND METHOD ITEMS 

and flesh that brings twice the price ordinarily offered for hogs. And besides, in 
discriminating markets, milk-fed poultry always sells at a premium. 

Given all the milk they will consume, hens will lay well in season and out of 
season. One cannot over-feed of milk. It is safe to keep it before the hens always. 

The vessels in which milk is fed should be washed and scalded daily. Earth- 
enware crocks are the best for the feeding of milk since they are easily cleaned. If 
wooden troughs or vessels are used, they will, in a very short time, become so 
fouled that thoro cleaning is almost impossible. 

If only a limited quantity of milk is available for the hens, the better way of 
feeding it is to use it in moistening the mash. When used for this purpose the 
milk will be evenly distributed to the flock. — Successful Farming. 

LEATHERETTE BOOK COVERS 

With a little ingenuity, some leatherette upholstering material, glue, and a 
squeegee roller, very neat looking, handy, and serviceable covers may be made for 
drawings, note-books and snap-shot photograph albums. The cover may be made 
best on the loose-leaf note-book principle, or may be made to cover a paper-bound 
book. By studying how any book is bound, it is easily seen how to go about mak- 
ing the cover. When it has been shaped and glued, the whole should be placed 
between two smooth boards and clamped for ten or twelve hours. 

— Popular Science Monthly. 

PLAN TO KEEP THE CHILDREN'S STOCKINGS MATED 

I find the following plan very successful in keeping my children's stockings 
together without the usual sorting over after each washing. I take small snap 
fasteners and sew one part of the fastener on one stocking at the top, and the other 
part of the fastener at the top of the other stocking. When the stockings are taken 
off to be put in the laundry bag each child snaps his pair together. It does not 
interfere with the washing, and they can be hung on the line without clothespins. 

— Today's Magazine. 
IF I WERE A SHOE DEALER 

I would advertise by showing in my windows the outline of a certain right 
foot. 

Then, both in my windows and in my newspaper advertising, I would invite 
every customer and prospect to draw the outline of his right foot and send in the 
drawing. I would advertise that the person whose foot came nearest to being the 
same shape as the outline shown would receive a prize. 

I would make use of all the outlines received, by writing to the various con- 
testants and telling them I had just the shoes to fit their feet, and I would name 
prices. — System. 

AN INTERNATIONAL TEST FOR VISION 

www The International Ophthalmic Congress at Naples, in order 

to introduce uniformity in methods of measuring vision, has 
O O C adopted the broken ring of Landolt as the best possible inter- 
national test for visual acuteness. But as no efforts have been 
O O O made to use it as cards with test letters are used, it has 
had little practical value. 
However, Dr. Edward Jackson, of Denver, has found that if the broken rings 
are arranged in a symmetrical group and printed, as here illustrated, on a card 
that can be turned with any edge uppermost, it constitutes a test independent of a 
knowledge of letters. The test is placed five meters from the patient. If the 
direction of the break in the rings is recognized at full distance, full acuteness of 
vision is demonstrated. If at four and a half meters, the vision is one-tenth de- 
fective, and so on. — Popular Science Monthly. 

A careful examination of the foregoing and similar material will 
disclose that these paragraphs are marked by seven characteristics: 
The utmost brevity is used. 

The explanations are so clear that they cannot be misunder- 
stood. 



A MENTAL TONIC 231 

The style is simple and direct, without the slightest trace of 

"fine writing." 
The purpose of the device or idea is succinctly stated at the 

opening, and then the explanations follow. 
The item does not merely give the idea but adds useful details 

for the operation of the plan. 
When a title is used, it is definite, yet does not tell too much. 
The ideas are of practical value and appeal to the reader as 

being usable. 

4. Marketing the Items 

A full discussion of market problems will be found in a succeed- 
ing chapter, but in this place one point must be emphasized: Keep 
clearly in mind — or, better still, on record — which magazines use 
methods, which use reports of inventions and appliances, which use 
experience items, which use illustrations, and all the varieties of 
material treated in this chapter. 

It is not practicable to give here a list of the periodicals that use 
paragraphic items, for magazines come and go and their wants change, 
but it may be said that markets are usually to be found with maga- 
zines devoted to woman and the home, popular science, outdoor life, 
business, agriculture and its allied interests, and some of the profes- 
sions, crafts and trades. It is decidedly necessary to examine at least 
one copy of any such periodical before submitting material. The 
field is large, but specialized. Go to business and professional friends 
— they may be able to show you samples of specialized magazines. 
The public libraries and news stands will also have periodicals which 
are not known to you. Study your market. 



A Mental Tonic 

By Aldis Dunbar 

After one of those "periods of enforced idleness," so dreaded by 
all of us who write, there are few better plans for stimulating the 
creative imagination than that of working, for a day or two, on 
Opening Paragraphs. Spend an hour or so with a handful of fairly 
new magazines, studying only the initial paragraphs of the short- 
stories in them; then turn to and write ten, twenty, thirty such 
paragraphs, seeing how much definite action, atmosphere, and per- 
sonality of character can be put into — say — a hundred and twenty- 
five words, without giving the sense of straining to cover the ground. 
The first one or two may come stiffly, but if the writer has any imagi- 
native faculty still awake, it will soon rouse to the work before it, and 
each paragraph will be likely to suggest the plot to follow, until — 
well, until one cannot spend a minute thinking up new opening para- 
graphs, because some one of those already written has so gripped the 
inventor that it must be worked out! Often a name that has struck 
one as having a strong and definite personality behind it will suggest 
such a paragraph, and the paragraph, in turn, will suggest the story 
to follow. 



The Agricultural Press 

A Good Market if You Know What to Submit 

By Katharine A. Grimes 
Associate Editor, "Southern Agriculturist" 

Judging from the character of most of the pile of manuscripts 
on my desk to be "returned with thanks," I have reached the con- 
clusion that many writers believe almost any old thing good enough 
for a farm paper. To begin with, few of these show freshness; they 
were obviously not written for us, but for someone else, to whose 
lack of appreciation we owe their presence. Of the few which at a 
stretch might be usuable, most are untimely. The rest are simply 
hash — rewritten from bulletins, revived from theories long ago dead 
and buried but probably sounding new to the writers, impossible 
accounts of "how I made the old farm pay" by people who obviously 
could never have raised lettuce on a back lot. Not one of the bunch 
is practical. 

And practicality is the first commandment in the decalogue of 
the farm paper. Its readers are men and women for whom the change 
of seasons makes the calendar, so, besides this, the matter must be 
seasonable. By that we do not mean, however, that we want mid- 
summer stuff submitted in August, for by that time we have finished 
our schedule for the warm months, and by next year conditions may 
be so different that an article which would be perfectly good now 
will be entirely out of the question, even if the writer does not object 
to its being held over. Neither do we want matter so far ahead that 
a sudden change of seasonal conditions will render it useless. The 
drouth of the past spring is an example. While it lasted we received 
innumerable articles dealing with the conditions it forced upon the 
farmer, mostly good and to the point, yet only a few could be safely 
accepted, as at any time a break in the dry spell might entirely change 
the outlook. This is exactly what happened, and among the manu- 
scripts to go back are some that might have been used to good ad- 
vantage but for the late rains. This, however, is a risk that most 
writers can afford to take. 

What we want most are stories of actual experience. The live 
agricultural editor is the quickest man in the world to spot a make- 
believe. Here, among the rest, is a manuscript — a very readable one, 
too — which describes how two boys made one cow pay their way 
through school. It sounded good — until the editorial pencil began 
to check up possibilities. Then it appeared what it was, a clever 
tissue of the imagination — the figures were manifestly impossible. 
Another is a glowing account of a woman's success with hens. This 
might have passed muster except for the fact that one hen laid so 
many eggs in the course of a year that that woman should have had 
no need of adding to her bank account by writing for us. 



THE AGRICULTURAL PRESS 233 

So far as the make-up goes, the agricultural editor is easy enough 
to please. A neatly typed article is a gratification, however, provided 
the matter is of the right sort. But if it is not, it will be " passed up" 
for some almost undecipherable scrawl from some old farmer who is 
actually doing things. For we know actual experience is the greatest 
demand of our army of readers, and much deviation from it is dis- 
astrous. As a general thing the farm paper is read for information, 
not for amusement, and "fine writing" must give place to hard- 
shelled fact. 

This is the main reason why, in spite of the great mass of matter 
submitted to us, we are constantly writing requests for special articles 
that fulfil our requirements of being seasonable, practical and to the 
point. For these good prices are paid — more, in fact, than many 
magazines pay for much more pretentious matter. If a man has 
built a silo we like to have him tell us about it. If a neighborhood is 
using a cooperative telephone system successfully, we are glad to pay 
for a complete description of their experiences in installing and run- 
ning it. If a little rural school has made a departure from the usual 
scheme of things and "got away with it," that teacher can add a 
fair-sized check to her regular salary by telling us about it. But we 
do not want general articles on the economy of the silo, or the need 
for the rural telephone, or the great opportunity of the rural school. 

We demand optimism, too. No "knocker" need apply. A story 
of failure may be as acceptable as one of success, provided only the 
failure opens the way to better things. And, speaking of success, it 
is the small man's success that most interests the average farm paper. 
We believe thoroughly in the power of the good example, and the 
example of the man who is running a million-dollar farm can be of 
little real use to the man who farms with one mule and a bull-tongue 
plow. But when a one-mule man tells us of his success in entering 
the two-mule class we at once begin to take notice, for he can tell 
something the other fellow wants to know. 

The readers of farm papers make very definite demands. Of 
course that is true of all papers, but possibly no other is held quite so 
strictly within the limits as the farm publication. It must be con- 
servative and progressive at the same time, for in spite of the modern 
taste for muck-raking the average farmer demands that which is 
wholesome and clean, and perhaps just a little bit trite. We must 
stick to the "just ordinary," yet keep sounding the new note that 
shall lead the ordinary up to higher levels. 

To sum up: The farm paper wants matter of its own peculiar 
type; all articles purporting to be actual experiences must "hold 
water;" it can nearly always use an article that is timely and practi- 
cal, even if it is a little bit off on style and finish; it has a welcome for 
helpful, sensible articles and suggestions born of real experience, and 
for such it pays ungrudgingly. And, most important of all, a new 
name is much more acceptable than one which has become hack- 
neyed by much use in contemporaries. 



The Lion's Share — By Arnold Bennett 

A CRITICISM 
By James A. Brown 

Here is a story by a man who is considered a first class artist. 
Character drawing, which some critics consider the primary essen- 
tial, is very good. Perhaps because I do not consider character 
drawing the principal thing in a story is one reason I do not like this 
one. I believe that the plot should be the big thing in every story. 
Plot means action, and, as Stevenson has said, action is absolutely 
necessary. 

The better the characters are depicted, the more do they stand 
away from us and the rest of humanity. We want to know what 
they do, how they will act in certain circumstances. One trouble 
with character drawing is, it does not go deep enough. The artist 
pictures only the characteristics, the main springs of life lie deeper. 

The great defect of "The Lion's Share" is that it has no soul. 
It is badly afflicted with dry rot. The story is polished, calm, dead, 
and is a perfect picture of stagnation. It is devoid of vitality and is 
written as though the author were the last survivor of a dying race. 
A young Englishman once said: "Oh, one would better be dead than 
not be born a gentleman in England," and we feel as we read the 
story that it is as nearly dead as a piece of fiction can be. 

Matthew Mose, father of the heroine Audrey, is a tyrant, there- 
fore the author kills off the unfortunate man in order to be rid of him. 
Like George Eliot, when she had hopelessly tied up poor Tom and 
Maggie Tulliver in a chain of circumstances where there was appar- 
ently no way out, she drowned them. This scheme of killing off a 
character who is an obstacle, is one of the oldest in fiction, and one 
of the poorest. 

Bennett is not entirely to blame because his story has no life. 
He is writing of a lifeless subject. The upper class Englishman in 
his smug egotism is about the most hopeless and useless object on 
earth, yet I venture to state that had an 0. Henry or a Jack London 
handled this subject, they would have given it life and spirit. Their 
characters would be human, lovable. This story reminds one of the 
following paragraph from Mark Twain, where he is speaking of the 
monks of a certain European Monastery: 

"Some of those men have been up there for thirty years. 
In all that dreary time they have not heard the laughter of a 
child or the blessed voice of a woman. They have known no 
human joys, no wholesome human sorrows. In their hearts 
are no memories of the past, in the brains no dreams of the 
future. All that is lovable, beautiful, worthy, they have put 
far away from them; against all things that are pleasant to 
look upon, and all sounds that are music to the ear, they 
have barred their massive doors, and reared their relentless 
walls of stone forever. They have banished the tender grace 



WHAT IS "INTEREST?" 235 

of life and left only the sapped and skinny mockery. Their 
lips are lips that never kiss and never sing; their hearts 
are hearts that never hate and never love; their breasts 
are breasts that never swell with the sentiment: 'I have a 
country and a flag.' They are dead men who walk." 

Those who are slaves to the character-drawing fetich would 
do well to read the story of "The Phonograph and the Graft," by 
O. Henry, which violates all the staid rules of writing, and yet is 
eminently successful because it is entirely human. O. Henry was 
undoubtedly the greatest short-story writer in the world at the time 
of his death, simply because his work was like his personality — 
supremely lovable and human. 

What Arnold Bennett needs is to roll up the shirt sleeves of 
his mind and get into the swing and current of human emotions. 
"The Lion's Share" is merely a cleverly-made machine which is 
without effect because it is devoid of emotion and action. 



What is "Interest?" 

By Barry Scobee 

A hundred ingredients are used in making a piece of fiction, but 
fused into a single mass they mean one thing — interest. To be bought 
and published it must be interesting. The question, then, is how to 
supply that one necessity. 

Our interest in life is founded on our longings and our needs; 
therefore a writer must play upon our hopes and desires as a musician 
plays upon an instrument — high and low, commandingly and beseech- 
ingly, softly and sweetly and triumphantly. 

We are interested in a man we admire. Admiring him, we in a 
degree desire to be like him. We care, however — even the worst of 
us — only for the manly traits, conduct and aspirations. We cannot 
admire the weak, the coarse, the dishonorable; therefore, to make a 
story-hero interesting we must endow him with admirable, yet human, 
characteristics — ones with which we can sympathize or can imitate 
proudly. 

This does not mean goody-goody, nice-little-man actions, nor 
does it mean a story-hero endowed with a heritage of misfortune for 
which we pity him — such as giving to his sister the last cracker in the 
cold, cold house though he himself is suffering from hunger brought 
on by sending his wages to the mother who is mistreated by her 
second husband. We should prefer to see the character hustle up two 
crackers and trounce the second husband. We do not care to be like 
the man we pity. 

Let the story-hero meet misfortune or any other obstacle in a 
way we should like to do — with a grin, or a fighting fist, or a bit of 



236 WHAT IS "INTEREST?" 

cleverness that shows he is not an incapable. We can't be interested 
in the fellow we would not care to imitate in some respect. 

A story-hero need not have all the virtues. In these the great 
picaresque heroes of fiction were woefully lacking. Villon, in Steven- 
son's "A Lodging for the Night," did not possess the sweet virtues of 
a tender and obedient bank clerk, but he did have something we 
admire, some cleverness and daring and an ability to care for himself. 
Just give the story-hero one big, wholesome characteristic we ourselves 
would like to possess, or fancy we do possess, and he is likely to be 
interesting. He may have more than one, but if a man is just average 
good and bad, and possesses one big, human virtue or ability we like 
him. Trying to arouse interest in a story-hero by contrast, by making 
him wholly good and his opponents wholly bad, is the work of an 
amateur. Just make the man human, with a character or characteris- 
tics we would try to imitate were we in his situation, and the story 
will twang a responsive chord in our hearts. 

More than silly sentiment, more than catalogued vices and vir- 
tues, are needed to interest us. We must have our hopes and desires 
played and preyed upon. This is done, first, by giving the hero a 
touch of human kinship, by correlating us with the hero through 
something we admire or hope for in ourselves, then fingering up and 
down, back and forth, on the character's scale of failure or fortune. 

Broadly speaking, it appears that interest is divided into two 
classes — human interest and heart interest. The former refers to 
courageous deeds, to setbacks manfully met, to hard fights well won; 
while heart interest refers to pathos and love. Both sorts are valuable, 
but seemingly human interest is far more popular. However, one of 
the best stories that ever appeared in the Saturday Evening Post was 
filled with pathos from beginning to end. But in addition, there was a 
heroic quality which won admiration. 

Synopses of motion pictures in many trade magazines show that 
the pleasing stories have either heart or human interest appeal or 
both. Photoplays will not sell without it, though if the writer can 
put in the " unusual twist" of plot, and the strikingly new, so much 
the better. The same is true of stories for the fictions magazines. 

The point, then, is that the writer should consider all plot germs 
from the view of giving the hero a part we admire — that we, in a 
similar situation, would wish to imitate. Finally, make heart 
interest and human interest the pivotal-points in writing fiction. 
Look at every plot first from that angle alone. It gives the struggling 
writer a solid base from which to work, from which to view the world, 
from which to write stories that sell. It will even be a valuable agent 
in moulding one's own philosophy of life. 



"An orator cannot always talk in strict logical sequence. He 
must search about for the right nail till he has found it, and then 
drive to home." — Marion Crawford. 



My Literary Novitiate 

By L. E. Eubanks 

I had the unusual experience of three acceptances for the first 
article I wrote for publication. The first editor to whom I offered it 
replied affirmatively and promised a check on its publication. I 
waited impatiently, then patiently, then resignedly, then hopelessly. 
Meantime, I had a few other " spasms" going the rounds; and this 
kept me from thinking too much about Number 1. It was six or 
eight months after the acceptance that I wrote a letter of inquiry 
as why the article had not appeared. In reply, I received my manu- 
scripts with a letter stating that the magazine had gone under dif- 
ferent management and that the new editor did not care to keep 
his predecessor's contracts. 

I was disgusted, but not shaken in my determination. I did 
some revising, recopied it, and looked about for a suitable market. 
Just at that time I received a card from an editor to whom I had 
written asking if my work would be adapted to his magazine. He 
requested me to send along my article, and said that he had little 
doubt of its availability. Now, or even one year after that, I would 
have been suspicious; but I was thoroughly a novice then, and did 
not know that no honest editor would say this until he had seen 
some of the writer's work. 

Of course I sent it. It appeared in due time and I was sent two 
copies of the magazine. These represent all the payment I ever 
received from that quarter, though I inquired about it several times. 
Since I had submitted it "at usual rates," what could I do? 

Meantime, I was getting an acceptance occasionally for other 
writing, but I still felt that I was entitled to something for Number 1 . 
So I sent it out again, stating briefly that it had appeared months 
before in a different kind of magazine and under what circumstances. 
It was accepted (for the third time), and at last paid for. 

I had an amusing experience with a prize story. I called it " Sex- 
Blend," and it is, I think, one of the few fairly good stories I have 
done thus far, most of my attention having gone to articles. I sent 
it out five times, and four of the rejections came in "personal letter" 
form. They were complimentary, but contained those tantalizing 
"buts," "however," "perhaps later," etc. This encouragement I 
truly appreciated; but it could not be cashed at the bank. For the 
sixth journey, I sent it to Welcome Guest, then published in Portland, 
Me. Six months later I found a copy of the magazine in my mail, 
the first one I had seen. On the first page, with a pulse-quickening 
illustration above words that were decidedly familiar, was my story. 
And this was not all; under my name as author were these startling 
words: "Winner of First Prize." 

"Now what do you think of that?" I asked my wife. 



238 MY LITERARY NOVITIATE 

"I think it's a good thing you didn't know there was a contest 
on; you might have overdone it," Bertha replied, hitting the bull's 
eye with characteristic accuracy. 

The prize was not much, for the paper is a small affair; but I 
can never forget how I felt looking at that picture and the announce- 
ment that I had won first prize. 

My experience has taught me at least one thing for certain: It 
takes more than three or four rejections to condemn a story or an 
article. I landed a story on its twenty-first trip, and the editor seemed 
well pleased with it. Two others have stayed on the thirteenth 
journey. One of these brought $13.00, the other $13.50; thirteen 
isn't unlucky for me. 

Editors are no more alike than merchants or doctors; twice I 
have occupied the first place in a magazine with an article that had 
nearly reached the hopeless stage. Adaptability is the keynote; a 
study of the magazines' preferences is of vital importance. 

Though I have been "stung" three or four times, I have found 
editors as a class fair-minded and courteous. We should remember, 
I think, that there is no class of business people without the black 
sheep, and no vocation wherein a workman, particularly the beginner, 
will not encounter obstacles. As a class, writers are too much in- 
clined to believe themselves different from other people. The sooner 
we learn that the law of cause and effect applies to literary work the 
same as any other business, the better for us. 

Among the first articles I ever sold was one entitled "Remarks 
on the Diet Question." Health, then published by Chas. A. Tyrrell, 
New York, accepted it " at usual rates." Months rolled by, and I con- 
cluded that "usual rates" meant gratis in this case. One day, nine 
months after the article's appearance, I was surprised to receive a 
check with a letter stating that payment had been overlooked, that 
they were sorry, and that it should not occur again. 

I was paid for another manuscript, a story this time, eight months 
after I had sent it to the magazine. With more experience behind me, 
I kept after this editor, and though he never replied to any inquiry, I 
finally received the check. 

I have in my files several letters of encouragement that disprove 
the claim of some disgruntled writers that editors are heartless. On 
a printed rejection-slip I received from Pacific Monthly, before it 
combined with Sunset, I found these words in ink: "Excellent, but 
not in our line; send to some health magazine." I took the tip and 
landed the article. Several times editors have asked to see more of 
my work and shown very kind interest. Recently I received a per- 
sonal letter from a Munsey publication in which the editor criticized 
a story. The things he said were not complimentary, but they were 
doubtless true, and that is the main point. I was heartily thankful 
for the letter and believe the hints in it will enable me to sell that 
very story. 

No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of it for 
anyone else. — Charles Dickens. 



An Interview With the Editor 
of "Short Stories" 

By Dale Carnagey 

"Fresh human sympathy, a liking for and an understanding of 
people of all kinds," he replied. " Sincerity, that golden quality that 
shines through all good art, must be in every good story, and if it 
turns in the direction of humanness, it is almost sure to mean popu- 
larity for that writer's work. 

"The stories of 0. Henry come to mind as the most conspicuous 
example of that broad, democratic love of people shining through 
every line. From the facts that have come to light we know that 
O. Henry liked people, liked all kinds of people, sincerely and under- 
standingly, and oh, how clearly we see it in his work ! I should even 
venture to say that, given the work of a writer he does not know, any 
reasonably experienced manuscript reader can tell from reading a 
few pages of the person's story whether he really likes people, or is 
merely depicting them from some cold, synthetical process of the 
mind. 

"0. Henry really studied his people. Little Old Bagdad on the 
Subway was an open book to him because he had opened the book 
and had read long and carefully. He prowled his New York as 
Dickens did his London, and the anecdotes of his experiences with 
all sorts of strange people are legion. 

"Another thing about O. Henry — whom I cite so often simply 
because his enduring success as an American short-story writer more 
aptly answers your questions than any other I can think of — is this: 
0. Henry, besides being a painstaking and loving student of humanity, 
with an art as true and sincere as was he himself, was a most careful 
workman. Never heard that before? Well, he was. He was one of 
the most inveterate users of the Thesaurus that ever spun a tale on 
paper. He was prolific because he worked hard, when it came right, 
but with him it did not simply flow from his pen. Of course his 
stories read like that. But don't let your readers believe it. He 
often sat for hours, like Sentimental Tommy trying to think of just 
the right word; but unlike Sentimental Tommy, O. Henry did not 
chew the end of his pencil. No indeed. He got out his Thesaurus, 
his dictionaries, his reference books, and dug, dug, DUG. 

"Frank Norris is another example of the painstaking workman. 
Of course Norris was a great novelist, he cared little for the short- 
story, but he was a great artist and his example is pat. In a letter 
by him just brought to light by the Detroit Saturday Night, he wrote 
to a friend as follows: 

" ' Don't believe the fiction writer should shut himself up in 
his profession,' the letter says in part. 'Novels can't be 



240 INTERVIEW WITH THE EDITOR OF SHORT STORIES 

written from the closet or study. You've got to live your 
stuff. Believe novelists of all people should take interest in 
contemporary movements, politics, international affairs, the 
big things in the world. 

" ' I write with great difficulty but have managed somehow 
to accomplish forty short-stories (all published in fugitive 
fashion) and five novels within the last three years, and a 
lot of special unsigned articles. Believe my forte is the novel. 
Don't like to write, but like having written. Hate the 
effort of driving the pen from line to line, work only three 
hours a day, but work every day. Believe in blunt, crude, 
Anglo-Saxon words. Sometimes spend half an hour trying 
to get just the right combination of one-half dozen words. 
Never rewrite stuff; do all hard work at first writing, only 
revise — very lightly — in typewritten copy.' 

" Besides that, Frank Norris had a notebook in which he wrote 
much that was a dead loss, so far as immediate returns were con- 
cerned. His notebook — and it was voluminous — contained many 
preliminary sketches, phrases that he had caught from all manner 
of men, stray bits of conversation, wisps of philosophy, passages of 
sufficient description, telling phrases, picturesque names, and titles. 
His interest in life and people was boundless and he lost no oppor- 
tunity to study at first-hand. 

" 'The foremost essentials of a good story?' " Mr. Maule repeated 
the question after me. "Who knows? Certainly I should not per- 
sume to say. Who dares say that Conrad's 'Youth' is a better story 
than Bret Harte's 'Luck of Roaring Camp,' or vice versa. Both 
classics, neither has anything in common, yet both have everything 
in common in the perfection of their art. 

"If practical conditions are to be taken into consideration, let 
us consider the present-day market. For a magazine such as Short 
Stories, for instance, I should say that plot and characterization were 
primarily important, while perfection of style, in literary sense, would 
be secondary. Certainly it is true that of the tremendous mass of 
material we reject, the majority is rejected because the plots are too 
slight, too sketchy, or entirely absent. 

"The beginning author should analyze and study the plots of 
all the stories he reads just as a schoolboy analyzes a sentence. 
Thereby he will come upon the element of the inevitable — where 
things don't just happen. A plot, above all, should have opposing 
forces locked in a struggle; this struggle, if it is interesting and the 
outcome is uncertain, creates suspense — an indispensable quality 
in the plot-story. 

"Of course the beginning author may sometimes have an awk- 
ward way of handling his material, but if his story shows style, human 
understanding, and sympathy, every magazine editor is willing to 
advise him how to whip it into shape — for his own magazine, of course. 

"After a bit of study and analysis, the manufacturing of plots 
becomes largely a habit of thinking. When one acquires the habit 
through constant practice and makes himself a delicate instrument 



THE SURE-FIRE INTRODUCTION 241 

for plot germs, they will be found everywhere — in the morning paper, 
in a chance remark overheard in the street car. 

"So far as Short Stories goes, for all of our fiction we depend on 
the material that passes over our desks each month. We rarely 
order stories, and we have no ice box in which to store fiction — we 
buy just as present needs dictate. 

"The development of style? Well, I suppose I ought to say, 
' consider Stevenson, master of style, and absorb sweetness and light.' 
Of course I say it. How can anyone help it? Of course everyone, 
whether he is breaking into the writing game or not, ought to read 
Stevenson, and all the great masters before him — Kipling, and all 
the great masters who have come into the ascendent since. And he 
should study the modern fashions in fiction too. And then the young 
writer should write, write, WRITE, WRITE. He should write, 
and read, write and read — and live. Oh, there is plenty for him to do. 

"Here is something I frequently think of: All the great painters 
before they undertake a portrait make numerous sketches of their 
subject, sketches to familiarize themselves with him in all his poses 
and moods. Frank Norris's notebook was just that. In that book 
he had sketches of life — nobody knows how many of them. That is 
why he could write without rewriting. 

"One way for the young writer to help himself to develop style 
is to sketch life in this way, before he tries to put it into a story." 



The Sure-Fire Introduction 

By Felix J. Koch 

It was in the course of a lecture upon "features, " delivered before 
the class in journalism of a leading Cincinnati college not long since, 
that we chanced upon it! 

Tell Your Story in the First Paragraph and Make this 
Paragraph Consist of a Single, Pithy Sentence if You Can! 

According to this professional reader of manuscript for maga- 
zines, this advice is the cure-all for the greatest fault of the writing 
fraternity today, and observance of it will win acceptances. 

"If the first paragraph interests, rest assured the reader will 
continue. If not, he will drop the story, feature, what-so-ever — so 
why write on to the end? If the first sentence can pique his curiosity, 
so much the better — you will hold him to denouement, which comes 
at the very end!" 

The speaker cited the following example of a good opening: "In 
an out-of-the-way corner of Cincinnati expert dentists are engaged in 
filling, with finest grade gold or platinum, thousands of elks' teeth the 
year over — and possibly the very tooth on your watchchain may, at 
some time, have undergone the curious process involved." 

The hint departs radically from academic tradition of introduc- 
tion, body, logical continuance, climax and conclusion — but it does 
help get the manuscript by; and proves the "Open Sesame" of 
acceptance for many hundreds of feature "stories." 



Help for Song Writers 

New Opportunities for the Young Writer 
By E. M. Wickes 

"From time to time melodies come to me; they go on singing in 
my brain and give me no peace of mind until I jot them down on 
paper. However, as I do not know anything about harmony I see 
no commercial value in them, and yet, when I hum the tunes to some 
of my friends they tell me that the music is much better than a greater 
part of the musical compositions that are offered in the guise of 
popular songs." 

The foregoing paragraph is similar to hundreds that the writer 
has received during the past three years. Evidently the authors of 
the letters, as well as thousands of other persons, started out with 
the idea that in order to write popular or unpopular songs one must 
be well versed in technique and harmony. 

Now, as a rule, melody comes from the heart — melody sings it- 
self into one's brain — whereas harmony is a manufactured product, 
and anyone that is capable of wooing pretty melodies from the air 
need not bother his head about harmony. If a catchy tune should 
come to you, and you can memorize it by humming it over and over 
to yourself, just as the experienced writers do, you can purchase all 
the harmony you desire for so much a page. Any first-class arranger 
will take down your melody and furnish the necessary harmony in 
the bass for from three to five dollars a song. Less than ten per cent 
of the popular composers are qualified to arrange their own songs, 
and many of them do not know one note from another on the piano. 

To turn out first-class harmony one has to be a finished musician, 
and a peculiar thing about the average finished musician is that he 
appears to be unable to write popular melodies. He can revise and 
embellish the work of another, but he lacks the divine spark of a 
creator. There are arrangers and would-be arrangers, and there are 
others who have made a special study of popular songs. One ar- 
ranger can get twice as much out of a melody as another. For years 
Harry Von Tilzer would have no one but Al. Doyle arrange his songs. 
Doyle knew every trick in the business. He knew how to blend 
simplicity with harmony. 

A good melody is harmony itself. Melody is harmony because 
the tones blend and harmonize, and all the bass harmony in the world 
will not be of any value to a collection of disjointed notes. A pub- 
lisher does not render his decision resulting from the harmony he 
finds in the bass, but on the natural harmony and appeal he discov- 
ers in the plain melody. The manufactured harmony is a secondary 
consideration with him, as he knows that this can be obtained within 
a few hours' time. If you are able to write a good bass, do so, and if 
you know some one who will furnish one for a reasonable sum, have 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 243 

him make the arrangement; but do not labor under the impression 
that one must have a thorough knowledge of music in order to write 
popular melodies. It is true that certain artifices are employed by 
experienced melody writers to enhance melody, but these may be 
assimilated from practice and experience, and the man unwilling to 
work and learn has no business trying to write popular songs. 

A good song, words and music, is a commercial commodity, and 
sooner or later will find a market. Good songs and first-class song 
writers are scarce. Existing conditions may keep a newcomer in the 
background for a time, but if he possesses real ability and keeps peg- 
ging away he is bound to make some progress. The rejection of a 
song by a publisher means absolutely nothing. He may turn a num- 
ber down today for which he would offer you five hundred dollars 
advance tomorrow. 

Anyone with ordinary intelligence can write a song; hundreds 
of unknowns are able to write good songs, but very often it requires 
the genius to sell a good song. For selling good, bad, and indifferent 
songs Harry S. Marion has no equal. The other day he cited an 
instance where a well-known writer came to him and said : 

" Harry, I've got an instrumental number here that I've peddled 
all over and can't get rid of it. Do you know any one likely to give 
up ten dollars for it?" 

Marion asked the composer — call him Jones for the time being — 
to play the piece. Jones did, and then Marion said he would take it 
down to a well-known publisher and ask two hundred dollars advance. 
Jones snatched the manuscript from the piano and glared at Marion, 
but the latter convinced Jones that he was in earnest. The following 
morning Marion sauntered into the publisher's office and said: 

"Mr. Doe, I can get you the greatest march written in ten years, 
but you will have to give up two hundred advance. It's a wonder, a 
winner, and a sure fire hit! And you know I have a good idea of 
what ought to get over." 

" Bring it in," replied the publisher, "and if it is 'the goods' I'll 
pay the advance." 

The next day Marion entered with the composer, had the latter 
play the piece, and when Jones was waiting for the publisher to make 
out a check for two hundred he was actually trembling. At the 
corner Jones turned to Marion and said: "Here is five dollars for 
your trouble." Just what Harry thought, has been cut out by the 
Censor. The incident is related to impress upon writers the folly of 
becoming discouraged because one or a few publishers reject their 
manuscripts. There is another moral, too. 

On another occasion Marion came across the composer of "Peace 
Forever" worrying as to how he would get his rent. The man had 
published "Peace Forever," which sold half a million copies later on, 
and was out hunting a buyer for his march and several other numbers. 
Marion took the man up to Mills, and the latter paid $900, according 
to Harry's statement, for a group of songs. Marion received a com- 
mission of $200 for his trouble. 



244 HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 

How to sell songs is the more important phase of the game, for 
if you cannot sell them there is no sense in writing, unless you write 
for Art's sake and the sake of a few admiring friends. By finding out 
just how others turned the trick will sometimes give you an idea how 
to duplicate, or devise new methods. 

Several months ago a colored man in New York published some 
of his own compositions, which he desired to put on the counters of 
the big department stores. Fearing that his color might prove a 
handicap, he engaged a good-looking white girl to call on the buyers. 
The girl obtained an interview in every case and succeeded in placing 
the man's numbers with several syndicates and a number of the big 
department stores. 

The average person looks upon New York and Chicago as being 
the only cities where musical manuscripts may be sold, and that unless 
a big publisher can see value in a song it must be worthless. A pub- 
lisher is big or small according to the number of hits he turns out, 
and not for his ability to judge the intrinsic merit of manuscripts. 
Any number of hits have gone the rounds without receiving a word of 
encouragement, and then have become "winners" after having been 
put out by the determined authors. 

A song writer has access to more possible markets than any other 
writer. A story writer has to sell to a publisher, a scenario writer 
to a film producer, a playwright to a theatrical manager, while on the 
other hand a song writer may find a market with a magazine, a news- 
paper, a piano manufacturer, or various other firms that from time 
to time have recourse to music for advertising purposes. A firm that 
never dreamed of using sheet music as advertising matter may be 
talked into adopting this method of exploiting its wares, provided 
the song writer is able to offer a convincing argument as to the value 
of the plan. But in order to make money from music in this way one 
has to be very much alive, and know how to write the style of songs 
that will appeal to the average person. 

A ballad, be it a simple rustic number, or a semi-high-class song, 
offers the greatest possibilities for the unknown writer, and it also 
brings large royalty checks to the well-known writers. A ballad is 
comparatively easy to write, and will sell on its merits either at a big 
department store or at some local dealer in an obscure hamlet. If 
the melody is pleasing and the lyric capable of stirring emotions in 
the breast of a young woman, the ballad will sell. About a year ago 
one well-known publisher was giving a demonstration at a large de- 
partment store in New York. He was featuring half-a-dozen new 
numbers — "rags" and novelty songs without any feminine appeal 
— and had three singers constantly singing the songs for the benefit 
of the crowd that stood ten deep around the music counter. 

Now on demonstration days in some department stores the 
manager makes two publishers work in half-hour shifts. On this 
particular day the big publisher had as a competitor a very small firm 
that was pushing a pretty semi-high-class ballad, along with several 
other numbers, and the ballad sold more copies than the six "rags" 
combined, written by the well-known writer. Instances of this nature 



HELP FOR SONG WRITERS 245 

are common in the big stores, and only go to prove that a man need 
not depend upon tricky meters, or New York, to make profit from his 
songs. 

When you try to write a ballad do not aim to show how clever 
you are, or how large your vocabulary is; aim to convey sentiment 
in a simple manner. Ernest F. Ball, a man who has made a fortune, 
and who has set up a standard in ballads, never tries to write anything 
else. You do not see him trying to make hits out of " She's The 
Slickest Girl in Town." "I've Got a Girl That Everybody Wants," 
"Come Spoon With Me In A Bathing Suit," and other inane titles. 
His songs and his titles appeal to the better nature in lovers of popular 
music. And the titles he has used were public property at one time — 
titles like, "Will You Love Me In December as You Do In May?" 
"Love Me and The World Is Mine," "Mother Machree," "She's 
The Daughter of Mother Machree," and a "Little Bit of Heaven." 
And it may be mentioned for the benefit of some aspiring writers 
that Mr. Ball's songs, or at least some of them, retail for twenty- 
three cents a copy. 

The present scarcity of paper promises to have some effect on 
popular sheet music, and present indications point to the printing of 
sheet music without an insert. Several numbers by a big publisher 
have already come out without an insert, and if they do not meet 
with any serious objections from the music buying public, the other 
publishers will very likely follow. The elimination of the insert will 
reduce the cost of paper, the cost of printing, postage, expressage, 
and will also save the purchasers of music the bother of having to 
stop to turn the page while playing. Whether or not the price will be 
reduced is rather difficult to say. One publisher has been trying to 
boost prices. 

To the small publisher, especially the out-of-town man who 
issues his own compositions, the folder-form of music — which is 
minus the insert — will be quite a boon, for it will cut his printing 
expenses almost in half, and afford him an opportunity to do a little 
mail-order business. Some day when the general public can rely 
upon every advertisement that appears in magazines and newspapers, 
the popular sheet music will take a big jump, and the small music 
publisher will be able to compete with the firms that now appear to 
have a monoply on the business. Besides, the folder without the in- 
sert is going to play a big part in giving the small publisher a fair run 
for his money. This change will open up new markets for the un- 
known song writers, and it is "up to" the unknowns to keep their 
eyes and ears wide open, to continue to write, and be ready to take 
advantage of an opportunity when one presents itself. 

Two things that should be borne in mind are these : It is a waste 
of time to write about preparedness or Uncle Sam, and that a good 
ballad will sooner or later find its way into print. 



My model is Euclid, whose justly celebrated book of short 
stories entitled "The Elements of Geometry" will live when most of 
us who are scribbling are forgotten. — Robert Barr. 



Gleanings 

By Anne Scannell O'Neill 

The May issue of the Bookman should be added to the reference 
library of every earnest worker. It is entitled the "New Authors' 
Number," and contains the portraits of twenty authors of first books. 
An article, " Firstlings in Fiction," outlines each novel and gives a 
short account of its creator. 

What makes the magazine of especial help to writers, however, 
is the symposium contributed by eighteen editors of the leading New 
York magazines, purporting to contain the answer to that important 
query, " Why are Manuscripts Rejected? " A close study of the policy 
of these magazines as outlined by their editors should effectually 
prevent the promiscuous submitting of material and the subsequent 
heartache over the non-committal rejection slip. 

As a rule the persistent fault of the beginner is his tendency to 
over-describe. It might prove helpful in this connection to ponder 
the words of a well-known critic after reviewing a recent book on the 
war: "It is a wonderful story but it is unfortunate that the author 
did not tell it with fewer adjectives, and with less melodramatic 
intensity. He has a gift for vivid phrasing in which he indulges so 
unrestrainedly, that 'mad moments/ 'raving lines of battle/ 'scyth- 
ing of slaughter/ soon pall upon the reader and presently become a 
positive irritation. It would have been more effective had he con- 
fined himself to a style simpler and more restrained .... his in- 
cessant adjectives are like paint upon the lily." 

From an article in the New York Times, April 16, 1916, we take 
the following views of Mrs. Mary Roberts Rinehart: 

" I do not know how other writers are affected. I could do noth- 
ing at the front. For me, writing has two phases, each distinct from 
the other. One is receiving an impression; the other is giving it 
out. Between the two there must be a lapse of time to give me a 
perspective, to let me see the 'high light/ as it were — to know what 
should be emphasized. It is a matter of proportion, as all writing is. 
That is why I think the real literature of the war will come after the 
world is once more at peace. But even this may be less impressive 
than we expect. There are some things that lie too deep for expres- 
sion." 

A book of verse, entirely the product of college under-graduates, 
is to appear next fall. Its editor, Prof. Alfred Noyes, is compiling 
the volume from the work of Princeton students of the present 
generation. 

Similar books have been edited in England by Sir Gilbert Murray 
and Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch, but Mr. Noyes, though himself an 
English poet, proudly announces that the verse he has found in the 



PUBLISHERS OF POPULAR MUSIC 247 

American college is of higher standard and will need no prefatory- 
apology such as Murray thought necessary in his edition of Oxford 
verse. 

Sophie Kerr, author of "Love at Large," was asked where she 
found the time to write stories and novels since she must of necessity 
be tied to her office desk as a member of a magazine staff. Her 
answer should shame the writer who expects to arrive without per- 
sistent labor. 

"There still remain nights and Sundays," said Miss Kerr; 
"Like the optimistic old darkey: 'If you want to bad enough, you 
kin.' " 



Publishers of Popular Music 

Compiled by E. M. Wickes 

H. Bauer Music Co., 135 E. 34th Street, New York. 

Broadway Music Corporation, 145 W. 45th Street, New York. 

Buckeye Publishing Co., 997 E. Rich Street, Columbus, Ohio. 

Buck & Lowney, Holland Building, St. Louis. 

Jos. M. Daly, 665 Washington Street, Boston. 

Leo Feist, Inc., 235 West 40th Street, N^w York. 

Bernard Granville, 156 West 45th Street, New York. 

T. B. Harms, 62 West 45th Street, New York. 

Charles K. Harris, 47th Street and 7th Avenue, New York. 

F. Haviland, Strand Building, New York. 

P. J. Howley, 146 W. 46th Street, New York. 
Kalmar & Puck, 156 West 45th Street, New York. 
James Kendis, 145 W. 45th Street, New York. 

G. Koch, 1431 Broadway, New York. 
McKinley Music Co., 80 Fifth Ave., New York. 
Jos. Morris & Co., 145 West 45th Street, New York. 
E. T. Paull, 243 W. 42nd Street, New York. 

Jerome Remick & Co., 221 West 46th Street, New York. 

Will Rossiter, 136 W. Lake Street, Chicago. 

Harold Rossiter Music Co., 306 W. Washington Street, Chicago. 

E. T. Root & Sons, 1501 E. 55th Street, Chicago. 

Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., 224 W. 47th Street, New York. 

Southern California Music Co., 332 S. B'way, Los Angeles. 

Jos. Stern & Co., 102 West 38th Street, New York. 

Tell. Taylor, Grand Opera House, Chicago. 

Thompson & Co., Randolph Building, Chicago. 

Harry Von Tilzer, 125 West 43rd Street, New York. 

Watterson, Berlin & Snyder, Strand Building, New York. 

Welsh & Wilsky Music Co., Philadelphia. 

Werblow & Fisher Co., Strand Theatre Building, New York. 

H. A. Weyman & Son, 1010 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia. 

M. Witmark & Son, 144 West 37th Street, New York. 

Woodward, Willis & Co., 1193 Broadway, New York. 



The Writer's Magazine Guide 

Compiled by Anne Scannell O'Neill 

FICTION 

' ' Why are Manuscripts Rej ected? ' ' A Symposium by Mark Sullivan, 

Edward Bok, Arthur Vance, Charles Hanson Towne, and other 

editors. Bookman, May, 1916. 
"The Greatest Living Writer of Outdoor Literature," Current 

Opinion, May,' 1916. 
"Richard Harding Davis — An Estimate," Arthur Bartlett Maurice, 

Bookman, May, 1916. 
" 'Zelig,' and Some Others," Bookman, May, 1916. 
"Firstlings in Fiction," Florence Finch Kelly, Bookman, May, 1916. 
"Three Literary Giants of Today" — Kipling, Chesterton, Shaw, 

New York Times Magazine, May 7, 1916. 
"America Produces a Novelist — Willard Huntington Wright," H. L. 

Mencken, Forum, April, 1916. 
"Survey of the Stories of the Season," H. W. Boynton, New York 

Evening Post Magazine, April 22, 1916. 
"The Centenary of Charlotte Bronte," Margaret Ashmun, New York 

Times Magazine, April 16, 1916. 

DRAMA 

"Tagore on the Spirit of the Hindu Stage," American Review of 
Reviews, May, 1916. 

"What I Think of a Good Play," George C. Tyler, Theatre, May, 1916. 

"Dramatic Talent and Theatrical Talent," Clayton Hamilton, Book- 
man, May, 1916. 

"Plays Worth Seeing," Walter Pritchard Eaton, American, May, 1916. 

"Tough Times for Critics," P. G. Wodehouse, Vanity Fair, May, 
1916. 

"The Season's Plays," Heywood Broun, Collier's, May 13, 1916. 

"Dramatic Definitions," Edward Hale Bierstadt, New York Evening 
Post Magazine, April 22, 1916. 

"The Future of the Class Play," Rea McCain, Education, April, 1916. 

PHOTOPLAY 

"Thumbs Down in Europe," Roger Lytton, Photoplay, June, 1916. 

"The Story of David Wark Griffith," Henry Stephen Gordon, Photo- 
play, June, 1916. 

"Famous Teams — and Why," Creighton Hamilton, Picture Play, 
June, 1916. 

"Judging Plays," Louis Reeves Harrison, Moving Picture World, 
May 13, 1916. 

"Big Film Merger Under Way," Moving Picture World, May 13, 
1916. 

"The Art of Charles Chaplin," Minnie Maddern Fiske, Harper's 
Weekly, May 6, 1916. 



EPIGRAMS OF THE PHOTOPLAY 249 

"Money Made in Writing for the Movies," Dale Carnagey, American, 

June, 1916. 

POETRY 
" Christopher Marlows," Original Manuscript of Algernon Swinburne, 

North American Review, May, 1916. 
"The Poetry of a Priest — Father John Bannister Tabb," John B. 

Kelly, Catholic World, May, 1916. 
"Prohibitory Advice to Critics," Mrs. Alice Corbin Henderson, 

Current Opinion, May, 1916. 
"The New Poetry Versus the Old," Francis B. Gummere, New York 

Evening Post Magazine, April 22, 1916. 

JOURNALISM 
"A Captain of Comic Industry,"— "Bud" Fisher, John N. Wheeler, 

American, May, 1916. 
"Portrait and Short Sketch of Irwin S. Cobb," American, May, 1916. 
"Indicting the New York Magazines," Literary Digest, May 6, 1916. 
"How Davis Did It," Literary Digest, April 29, 1916. 
"Getting Best Service from Correspondents," Editor and Publisher, 

April 15, 1916. 
" Retrospects of an English Journalist," Percy Bicknell, Dial, April 13, 

1916. 

GENERAL ARTICLES 
"Alexander Wilson Drake — Forty-three years Art Director of the 

Century," Clarence Clough Buel, Century, May, 1916. 
"What is Education?" Professor Ernest C. Moore, Education, 

May, 1916. 
"The Mind of a Child," H. Addington Bruce, Century, May, 1916. 
"The London of Shakespeare," Elizabeth Clendenning Ring, Book 

News Monthly, April, 1916. 

Epigrams of the Photoplay 

By S. Raymond Jocelyn 

The Theme is the basic idea or hub of the dramatic incidents. 

The Title specializes the theme of the play; it is the cap screwed 
to the hub. 

The Cast interprets the nature of the wheel of incidents or the 
story evolved. 

The Synopsis sketches the play of the cast; it turns the wheel on 
its axis of probability or impossibility. 

The Plot explains the synopsis and develops it into units, which 
are expressed by paragraphs; it constitutes the spokes centralized 
in the hub of the dramatic wheel. 

The Scenario arranges the plot into scenes, leaders and inserts; 
it individualizes the wheel by emphasizing good or poor workmanship. 

The Picturization develops the scenario into action and photo- 
graphs ; it is the whirl of the unset wheel. 

The Film is the arrangement of the pictures into a connected 
story, the rim of the wheel; it is the wheel in place on its particular axis. 



Photoplay News 

Compiled by E. M. Wickes 

On May 9th The Photodramatists held a semi-monthly meeting. 
To furnish a subject for scenario discussion Howard Irving Young 
brought down a Metro feature, "The Soul Market," which was 
shown in the Balboa projection room. Before leaving, Mr. Young 
said that although he has repeatedly asked for some good five-reel 
stories for Metro (1465 Broadway, New York), he has not heard from 
a sufficient number of writers. 

One member stated that The Fine Arts Company wrote to her 
saying that it did not care to see any stories from free lances; on the 
other hand, however, Miss Mabel Strauss, who is with The World 
Film (126 West 46th St., New York), said she would like to see some 
five-reels from anybody. When a story passes her it is handed to Wm. 
A. Brady for final decision. 

Fannie Hurst, who receives something like $1,200.00 for every 
short-story she writes, attended the meeting accompanied by Kate 
E. Horton. The latter is a regular member and has recently broken 
into the fiction game. Her "Chorus Jane" was featured in the April 
number of Breezy Stories. 

Harry 0. Hoyt, a graduate of Yale, and formerly on the staff of 
Kalem, came down to make a short address, but unfortunately was 
called away. Mr. Hoyt is now editor of Metro, and although he is 
kept very busy with editorial duties, he still finds time to write arti- 
cles for Metro's house organ. Scenario writers can rest assured that 
they will receive the best of treatment when submitting work to Mr. 
Hoyt. 

Colonel Jasper E. Brady, the genial Vitagraph editor, was ex- 
pected but failed to show up. When it comes to the matter of cour- 
tesy the Colonel is entitled to a place in the front rank. Busy as he is 
from sunrise to sunset, he has found time to write a novel for Small, 
Maynard and Co. 

A. Van Buren Powell said that since the paper famine has made 
its appearance one company in the South has discontinued sending 
out rejection slips. Perhaps the scarcity of paper has something to do 
with the absence of checks in the mails. 

Members were notified that Clara Kimball Young is about to 
offer a prize of $2,000.00 for the best five-reel scenario submitted to 
her new company before July 15th. Stories must be capable of show- 
ing Miss Young at her best. Details are unobtainable at the present 
writing, but will very likely appear in the trade papers. 

According to a letter received by Mrs. Farley, secretary of The 
Photodramatists, The Photoplaywrights of America, as well as its 
house organ, have gone out of commission. The former editor of the 
house organ has accepted an editorial position with Motography and 



A REPLY TO MR. PLAYTER 251 

promises to see that the Photodramatist Club and its members will 
not be slighted in the matter of real publicity. 

Agnes Johnston, formerly with Vitagraph, and now with Than- 
houser, said that she gets so much good from the meetings that she is 
only too willing to make the trip from New Rochelle. At present she 
is turning out a new brand of comedy-drama, and some of her friends 
look upon her as the "Barrie" of the screen. Her next release will be 
"The Shine Girl." 

George L. Sargent, one of the best workers the club ever had, is 
expected to return from the Adirondack section, where he has been 
very busy directing the "Fall of a Nation," the coming sensation in 
moving pictures. 

June Mathis, author of "The Snow Bird," and "The Great 
Price, " and now doing feature stories for Metro, came to the meeting 
and announced her intention of becoming a regular member. 

Applications for membership were received from Fred Piano, 
Peekskill, N. Y., Adrian Johnston, assistant editor of Mirror Films, 
and one from a scenario writer in the Canal Zone. Applications for 
membership should be addressed to Mrs. Louise M. Farley, 607 West 
136th Street, New York City. 



A Reply to Mr. Playter 

By Cruse Carriel 
Editor of "Out West" 

After reading Mr. Playter' s dissertation in the May number of 
the Writer's Monthly I am wondering if young writers really do 
want the truth about their manuscripts and whether it would be the 
best thing to give it to them straight from the shoulder. It may be 
true that the present high cost of paper is due in no small degree to the 
number of rejection slips used by magazines, that the slips themselves 
are stereotyped and mean nothing and that they may cause the re- 
cipient author to pay postage due. But why the ether-splitting howl 
if, inadvertently, a manuscript is sent back without one? 

On the other hand, an editor usually knows quite definitely just 
why he returns an offering. It would be a simple matter to list these 
causes and check the particular one responsible for the return. Some 
periodicals do so to a limited extent, but none of them, so far as I 
know, lists the real cause — hopeless, helpless, mediocre, rotten — actuat- 
ing the return of many offerings, and for a very good reason. 

This reason is that very few persons, as people are presently 
constituted, are able to stand the truth. Besides, an editor hesitates 
to condemn utterly what may be the offspring of a budding genius. 
The ruthless desecrator of buds is not a pleasant person — and, of 
course, all editors are. Think of the responsibility attaching to an 
editor who, through brutal, even though truthful, rejection, completely 
"douses the glim" of a future O. Henry, Mark Twain or Robert 
Louis Stevenson! While the possibility remains of writers believing 
that editors know their business, the "white lie" is better. 



The Retort Courteous 



The thing that interested us most, however, in the current 
Century is an article by our highly esteemed contemporary, Mr. 
Harvey J. 'Higgins, called "Caste in Criticism," in which that 
competent literary artist strives to give comfort to the crude, unskilled 
literary idols of the hour by a not over-subtly implied intimation that 
the literary critic who tries to hold the modern penster up to some 
kind of a standard of literary excellence is a snob. However delicately 
he does it, we think Mr. 'Higgins goes too far in his denunciation of 
these critics. There are snobs among them, of course — we could name 
offhand a half-dozen such — but in the main the incorrigible misusers 
of their literary opportunities to-day have not suffered much at their 
hands because few people read what they have to say, and don't 
understand it even when they do read it; and it is probably truer 
to-day than ever before that " punch" counts for more than style in 
popular approval, and that it is the story and not the manner of its 
telling that is "the thing." What the bulk of the sincere critics of 
to-day would really like to see would be some sign of a realization in 
the minds, souls or hearts of these writers of the punchy thing that 
their "punch" would be vastly more effective if they would take the 
trouble to learn how to write. Slipshod work in any field of endeavor 
is to be deprecated, whether it be in cleaning out a stable or in writing 
a poem; and as we see it, all that the modern critic of fastidious sense 
has to ask of the writer of the hour is that he shall learn something 
about syntax, not so much, perhaps, as to make him all syntax and 
nothing else, but just enough to enable him to say clearly and in 
tolerably good English what he means; and that in the selection of 
his theme he shall not require us to waste the few hours most of us 
have to devote to reading in the contemplation of the low, squalid, 
smelly denizens of the Great White Way, or the social nastinesses of an 
otherwise studiedly vulgar smart set, in whose lives there is nothing 
uplifting, or in the least degree inspiring. Mr. 'Higgins says that 
"if we produce a literature that bears the same relation to American 
life that American plumbing does, for example, we shall be doing a 
sane thing." That is possibly true, but we should remember that 
there is a technique even to plumbing, and that if American plumbers 
were as careless of it as American writers are of the technique of their 
craft, we'd all of us be down with malaria and typhoid in 97 minutes. 
Our trouble seems to be that in respect to one-half of Mr. 'Higgins' 
proposition, anyhow, we have our artisans mixed, with the result 
that whoever is doing our plumbing, most of our literature, especially 
in the magazine serial field, is being done by plumbers — which may 
be one of the reasons why most of the product smells so rankly of the 
sewer. — Boston Post. 



WHII W ill i 




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TENNESSEE WOMAN'S PRESS AND AUTHORS' CLUB 
(Organized April, 1899) 
OFFICERS 

Mrs. John A. Epperson, Algood President 

Mrs. Helen Topping Miller, Morristown 1st Vice-President 

Miss Kate White, Knoxville 2nd Vice-President 

Miss Martha James, Nashville Recording Secretary 

Miss Della Yoe, Knoxville Corresponding Secretary 

Miss Mattie Harris, Lynnville Treasurer 

Mrs. Willie Lawson Williams, Nashville, . Ch. Membership Com. 

Mrs. Frances M. Morgan, Franklin Ch. Legislation Com. 

Mrs. Anne Bachman Hyde, Chattanooga, . . Ch. Constitution Com. 

Mrs. Elizabeth Fry Page, Nashville, Ch. Library Com. 

Mrs. Rutledge Smith, Cookeville Ch. House Com. 

The club owns a picturesque log bungalow in the Cumberland 
Mountains, where its annual meetings are held. Many of its mem- 
bers have achieved distinction. Maria Thompson Daviess, Kate 
Trimble Sharber, Helen Topping Miller, and others are well known to 
the reading public. Mrs. Miller recently won first prize, three 
hundred dollars, in the short-story contest of the Southern Woman's 
Magazine. The club has taken an active interest in the education of 
the Southern mountaineers, and the preservation of Tennessee tradi- 
tions and history. 

LEAGUE OF AMERICAN PEN WOMEN 

(General Federation of Women's Clubs) Washington, D. C. 
Business meetings, first Mondays in the month from October to May, 
inclusive, at Public Library 

OFFICERS 

Mrs. Bertha Lincoln Heustis President 

Miss Jessie A. Griswold 1st Vice-President 

Miss Mae Ruth Norcross 2d Vice-President 

Mrs. Anna Sanborn Hamilton Recording Secretary 

1801 K St., N. W. 

Mrs. Della Hine Mertz Corresponding Secretary 

3031 Newark St. 
Mrs. Gertrude Buckingham Thomas Asst. Corres. Secretary 

1231 Girard St. 

Mrs. J. Harry Cunningham Treasurer 

Mrs. Mary M. North Auditor 

Mrs. Susie Root Rhodes Librarian 

Mrs. Virginia King Frye Historian 

Mrs. Leigh Chalmers Reporter 



Contributions to this department are solicited. Paragraphs must be brief and the material 
based not on theory but on experience in any branch of pencraft. Mutual helpfulness and a wide 
range of subjects are the standards we have set for Experience Meeting. 

Mention has been made of Everywoman's World, Toronto. They 
state, in paragraphs furnished to various magazines for writers, that 
they pay about $25 for stories, 45 days after date. My experience 
was thus: — Story of 4,500 words submitted March 19, 1915. In- 
quiries were made on June 25th and July 9th. After waiting until 
August 4th, I received their offer to pay me a half-cent a word, which 
they spoke of as their usual rate, calling the story 3,500 words, as 
that was their outside length limit. They would do the revision 
necessary. Payment would be made forty-five days from that date 
of acceptance, if I closed with the offer. I did so, and waited. When 
the forty-five days had gone by without the appearance of a check, 
I wrote them. I wrote to the editor of the magazine without result 
or reply, — to the publishers without result or reply, finally to the 
cashier. On October 20th, eleven weeks after acceptance, I received 
my check, which bore date of October 4th! No explanation was 
vouchsafed. 

The editorial departments of the periodicals published by the 
American Baptist Publication Society, of Philadelphia, are excep- 
tions to the ordinary rule. They prefer and request that loose stamps 
be enclosed with MSS., instead of the stamped and addressed envelope. 

— Aldis Dunbar. 

We all know about the big magazines but I have so much trouble 
finding out about the trade papers and the small magazines that I am 
going to put my friends on the trail and have them send copies of 
these to me. This suggestion might be of value to other writers. I 
can write on civics, household economics, small gardens, landscape 
gardening, entertainments for raising money for various affairs — all 
good subjects — but after spending hours in libraries looking over 
magazines I do not always know where to submit. It is only by keep- 
ing continually at it that I find out about the smaller papers. 

Please insist that writers give the whole address of a magazine, 
if possible, and also state just what type of article or story is desired 
when sending to the " Where to -Sell" department. Here are two I 
have lately heard of: 

The Dodge Idea (a Magazine of Industrial Progress). Edited 
by C. R. Trowbridge, Mishawaka, Ind. 

The Edison Monthly, publishes almost any type of article which 
deals directly or indirectly with electricity, Irving Place and 15th St., 
New York. — Betty. 




Timely, terse, reliable, and good-natured contributions to this department will be wel- 
come. Every detail of each item should be carefully verified. Criticisms based on matters of 
opinion or taste cannot be admitted, but only points of accuracy or correctness. 

In a story in the April Everybody's "Tommy and the Tight 
Place," by Dorothy DeJagers, this sentence occurs: "The actress 
lady crossed her knife and fork on the plate before her with dazed 
precision, searching his face, meantime, for a corroboration of her 
suspicions that it might be a hoax. Finding none, she smiled at last, 
but not muscle-sprainingly." 

There is no doubt as to the charm of originality of expression, or 
its actual cash value at present; but when it comes to connecting 
such an athletic combination of words as muscle-sprainingly , with a 
smile, doesn't it rather take the light out of the allusion? — L. W. S. 

Grace Ellery Channing meets her Waterloo during the course of 
an automobile ride in " A Favorite of the Gods, " published in Harper's 
Monthly Magazine for April. One of the characters is made to drive 
his car with his hand on the clutch — a most unusual as well as awk- 
ward proceeding, since the clutch is concealed, and, excepting in the 
rare magnetic gear shift, is operated by a pedal. — Ruth Hoen. 

In " A Fisher of Men, " by John Galsworthy, found in the volume 
"A Motley," on page 46, I find this statement: "each one of this 
grim congregation were pouring out all the resentment in his heart." 
The error is evident. He has permitted the principal word in the 
phrase to determine the number of the verb without regard to the 
number of the subject. — V. B. Brown. 



In the Popular Magazine, April 20, 1916, "The Forty-ninth 
Talesman," by Holman Day, has more than the usual allotment of 
errors in " local color " — dealing with courts and procedure. Witness 
one, page 33 : 

"On that point we've got what the judge said about the pre- 
ponderance of evidence," said one of the panel. "If I'm any judge 
of human language, the old chap seemed to think the evidence 
mostly preponderated against the prisoner." 

The words "preponderance of evidence," used in a criminal case, 
would be an absolutely reversible error. No judge would give such a 
charge under any circumstances. This expression applies only to 
Civil Actions — preponderance being, as regards evidence, the great 
distinguishing feature — principle — between Criminal and Civil Ac- 
tions. "Any evidence, however slight, which convinces you to a 



256 CRITICS IN COUNCIL 

moral certainty and beyond all reasonable doubt" — a statement 
familiar to any layman — is the wording of the Charge in a criminal 
case, and is used expressly for the purpose of excluding the idea of 
preponderance. 

In "Props," by Ray Sprigle, in the Green Book for June, 1916, 
page 1084, appears the following: "A single afternoon sufficed for 
the hearing, and the jury retired The jury was ready to re- 
port. And then Howe had the experience of seeing the lad who had 
played in his mandolin club sentence a man to death." A sentence 
in a felony case cannot be pronounced the day the verdict is rendered. 
In all the states, the law allows at least two days, and in most states 
five, to intervene between the rendition of the verdict and the imposi- 
tion of judgment. It is no more than decent. The only writer I've 
never caught tripping in descriptions of courts and their procedure 
is Irvin Cobb. He's been there, and knows; the others don't take 
the trouble to find out what could be learned for the asking. 

— Austin Arnold. 

"Short-Story Writing — Vocation or Avocation," by E. E. de Graff, 
published in The Writer's Monthly for May, is very misleading 
in its inference that the five literary celebrities cited formed the drug 
or alcohol habit under "the implacable necessity" of accomplishing 
mental work "by a given time." As a matter of fact literary work 
was not responsible for the vices of the writers mentioned by Mrs. 
de Graff. De Quincey and Coleridge both began taking opium at 
college — Oxford and Cambridge respectively — to allay neuralgic 
pains; Burns became enamored of the flowing bowl at seventeen, 
seeking solace for loneliness and poverty; Poe developed a passion 
for drink while a student, before experiencing the necessity for self- 
support; and if poor Francis Thompson had the drug habit, his 
neurotic condition was largely responsible. 

— Mrs. Alix Kocsis Anderson. 

It may be doubted if the author criticised ever intended the foregoing in- 
ference. However and whenever these habits were begun, certainly after having 
been broken off, they were re-commenced, in several instances, and continued 
with interruptions, largely from the urge named by Mrs. de Graff. Depression 
often pursues genius, early and late. — Editor. 

In the story entitled, "Efficiency Edgar's Courtship," by 
Clarence Budington Kelland, in The Saturday Evening Post, April 29th, 
we find a conversation taking place between Edgar and Mr. Pierce, 
in Mr. Pierce's library. The accompanying illustration is almost a 
caricature, showing Mary and the piano, with Mr. Pierce and Edgar 
still present — while in the story they are absent and holding a private 
conversation. — G. H. Long. 

"Two Girls in the South," in the May, 1916, Ladies' Home 
Journal, displays only a superficial knowledge of Richmond. It is 
easy to excuse the liberties that are taken with Patrick Henry's 



CRITICS IN COUNCIL 257 

family history, for novelists are allowed that privilege, but as a matter 
of fact the only two living male descendants are not twelve years old. 

A son of the Old South and a Confederate veteran is made to 
say " Civil War." While this term is generally used throughout the 
country, in the Old Dominion we say, " War Between the States." 

It is not unusual to find live oaks in the bottom lands ; and in the 
Dismal Swamps they grow to considerable size, but they are not 
found as shade trees around the houses. They are shade trees in 
Georgia, but not in Virginia. 

On Monument Avenue, we have a "Lee Circle" and a "Stuart 
Circle," but there is no Monument Circle. 

— Margaret Denny Dixon. 

Has this critic never seen the live oak shade trees in the grounds of For- 
tress Monroe, Va.? — Editor. 

If the first installment of "Between Two Worlds," by Philip 
Curtis, in the May American Magazine, has escaped your attention 
thus far, you should neglect it not one moment longer, for it marks 
the birth of a new style in letters. This is called the recurrent style — 
recurrence of word, recurrence of phrase. I have caught some of the 
spirit of it myself. The only criticism I have to offer is not a criticism 
at all, as a regret can never be a criticism in the finer sense of the word, 
and I regret, much, that Mr. Curtis did not read — and he could have, 
and still have gotten the installment out on time — the sixteenth 
"Letter to Young Authors" in the April Writer's Monthly. The 
following example of Mr. Curtis' style, I feel somehow, would have 
died if the author had had the benefit of the "Twilight Sleep" con- 
tained in No. 16, as to faulty sentence building. 

"Gresham, indeed, was not the only diner who sat absolutely 
thunderstruck at the appearance of the girl, for, one after another, 
the stolid, over-dressed men and women who had watched with 
absolute indifference the capers and tricks of the other performers 
straightened in their chairs and turned to watch her, until the room 
was wrapped in silence — which even newcomers stopped rather than 
break, and which was ended only by the perfect storm of applause 
which followed the close of the song." 

When I read that, I was "absolutely thunderstruck," and it was 
not with "absolute indifference" that I hastened to inquire how 
"even newcomers" — granting that some of them do possess rare 
qualities anent noise — could stop a silence without breaking it. Then, 
reading further, I saw that there hadn't been any silence at all 
"which newcomers stopped rather than break." There was a girl 
singing all the time! This style has possibilities. — Austin Arnold. 



To gather much thought into few words stamps the man of 
genius. Therefore, if possible, the quintessence only! 

— Schopenhauer. 





THE, WOI^p 

Page_^ 

, ■■■ 
Conducted by the Editor 

In this little Department will be found from month to month such notes, observations, and 
criticisms on the values and uses of words as may be contributed, or provided by the Staff of The 
Writer's Monthly. No offerings can be considered that are not brief, pungent, and accurate. 
Not alone the authoritative word-books but also good usage will be taken as the standard. 



Here is an easy method of word study which has helped me 
greatly. I bought two cheap but authoritative books : "The English 
Language/' in the "Home University Library," by Pearsall Smith, 
and "English Dialects," in the "Cambridge Manuals," by the 
eminent philologist, Skeat. (Both books are sold in England at a 
shilling a copy and fifty cents in America.) As I carefully read them 
through I kept a list of all words used as illustrations of some particu- 
lar tendency or principle. Then, in review, I carefully revised my 
word lists until I could discuss the point involved in the case of each 
word noted. The added knowledge and interest has been an absolute 
revelation to me, and has led me to purchase a copy of Mr. Skeat' s 
well-known "Etymological Dictionary" (condensed) and to plan a 
further incursion into philology. — J. G. McNear. 

There are many nice distinctions to be made between the literal 
and the figurative use of single words. The extreme of literalness is 
no worse than the opposite — over-profusion of the figurative. Con- 
trast for the sake of effect is the law here. The results are often full 
of suggestion, for the fresh figurative outlook opens up farther vision. 
Test this by taking these words, "political heretic," and supplying 
other nouns, all of which — like "political clown" — suddenly shift 
the comparison-picture to a sphere outside of politics. 

Considered as a habit, the single-word figure is really much more 
effective than the figurative sentence. Expand "political juggler" 
into a full sentence and see how you lose effect. On the other hand, 
an occasional figurative sentence, contrasted with straightforward 
statements, will act as a bit of embroidery on a garment of solid color. 
Just as we say of a woman, "she has the good taste to use just enough 
ornamentation on her gowns," so let it be said of us when we begem 
our sentences with figures. 

An interesting exercise is to set down all the words meaning 
flowing water — say from rill to river. Be careful to discriminate 
between all such as show shades of difference, and when you dis- 
criminate be careful to consider not only the size of the flow but its 
form and rate of movement — cascade, torrent and rapids are all 
different. 

When you have completed this list, make another of the words 
expressive of the character of the flow, like "rush," "tumble," and 
"dance."— J. B. E. 



If you can say a good thing pertinent to any phase of the writer's work, say it briefly and with 
pungency — and send it in. 

If a message hurts you, try to hide both the hurt and the message. 
If a message helps you, herald it afar — it may bring like help to others. 

— Felix K. Struve. 

In order to imitate, select a man of excellence, a man who is 
above all the rest and whose methods we may convert to our own use. 
Him we should follow, as Ben Jonson says, "not as a creature that 
swallows what it takes in, crude, raw or undigested; but that feeds 
with an appetite, and hath a stomach to concoct, divide, and turn 
all into nourishment." — M. Dimicel. 

Use your imagination. Make believe that your story is the 
property of someone with whom you have just quarreled, then 
try to show him just how weak his writing is by picking the story 
apart. When you have done this you will find that here and there 
in the story you could improve the construction of the English or of 
the plot. No story can be perfect, but your story can be as perfect 
as you can make it. — Lewis E. Zorn. 

When you write, adopt your own viewpoint; when you revise, 
consider that of others. — Karl von Kraft. 

A plot is always something other than a straight, uninterrupted 
course, for it must include some intervention from without or from 
within. When no force steps in to hinder the hero's purpose, when 
no obstacle rises in the path of the heroine, there is no plot. The 
more surprising and threatening the intervention, the more will the 
writer's ingenuity be taxed to overcome its difficulties plausibly and 
naturally. In a world so full of obstacles as ours it is really not hard 
to find one suited to our story — the task is to overcome it in a way 
that satisfies the reader's sense of what life really is. 

— Ethel Troy. 

My sympathy goes out to the writer who does not know that he 
is unprepared to write. He is not ludicrous — he is pathetic. For 
such as he the only hope is to learn to judge what is good in the work 
of others and set about mastering those first steps by which all the 
great and all the useful have proceeded from small beginnings. That 
is the inexorable law of success. If he but has some fact to tell, some 
impression to create, some crisis to show, some laughter to evoke, he 
may with patience learn how to do what he wants to do. If he is not 
willing to be apprentice he can never be master. — J. B. E. 

The man who advocates poisonous reading is the same fellow 
who made the pure food and drug acts necessary. — H. T. Harley. 



H. C. S. Folks 



Patrons and students are invited to give information of their published or produced material; 
or of important literary activities. Mere news of acceptances cannot be printed — give dates, 
titles and periodicals, time and place of dramatic production, or names of book publishers. 

Leslie Jennings Nelson, of Rutherford, Cal., is the author of a 
suggestive article in the May 6th issue of The Editor — "The Personal 
Equation: A Pitfall." The same number also contains an article by 
Grayce Druitt Latus, entitled "The Golden Rule Editor." Mrs. 
Latus, whose home is in Pittsburgh, was the first graduate in the 
Short-Story course of the H. C. S., and is now a successful journalist. 
Aldis Dunbar, of New York City, likewise appears in this issue of 
The Editor, with an interesting article entitled, "This Thing Actually 
Happened;" while Lena C. Ahlers, of Stronghurst, 111., contributes 
some interesting specimens of dialect from the Kentucky mountains. 

L. E. Eubanks, of Seattle, Wash., is proving the value of the 
relatively smaller periodicals as market places for literary material. 
His work appears in eleven magazines for April: Catholic Educa- 
tional Review, Washington, D. C.; School News, Taylorsville, 111.; 
The Magnificat, Manchester, N. H.; Health Culture, New York City; 
American Journal of Nursing, New York City; Field and Stream, 
New York City; Forest and Stream, New York City; Arms and the 
Man, Washington D. C; Outer's Book, Milwaukee, Wis.; The 
Violin World, New York City; and Your Health, Philadelphia. 

Mabel Dill, of Washington, D. C, has a third of a series of 
stories which she is doing for Mother's Magazine in the June issue of 
that periodical. It is entitled "The Proof of the Pudding" and is 
one of Miss Dill's cleverest stories. The June issue of The Housewife 
contains another story of this increasingly successful writer. It is 
entitled "The Coward Woman." 

Mrs. Minnie M. Seymour, secretary of the East St. Louis 
Women's Civic Federation, has written a song to the air of "The 
Red, White and Blue" (Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean), which 
was sung at the eighteenth annual meeting of the Twenty-eighth 
District Assembly of Rebekah lodges, I. O. 0. F., at Collinsville, Mo. 
Mrs. Seymour has written several song "hits," among them "Teddy," 
the rallying song of Roosevelt followers at the Republican convention 
in Chicago in 1912. 

Frank G. Davis, of Elkton, Va., has a capital short-story 
entitled "His Guardian Angel" in the May issue of Everyday Life, 
and a short humorous story in Grit, entitled "A Jokeless Joke." 

Rosa Meyers Mumma, of Robertsdale, Ala., contributes an 
effective poem entitled "The Brotherhood of Man" to a recent 
number of The Traveling Elk. 



H. C. S. FOLKS 261 

Henry Willis Mitchell, of Plain ville, Conn., has just signed a 
contract with the Franklin Syndicate, of 347 Fifth Ave., New York, 
for the exclusive publication of his stories for children which appear 
under the general title "Nodden Stories." This syndicate is also 
handling general stories for Mr. Mitchell. 

Mary Catherine Parsons, of Brookline, Mass., has won one of 
the prizes offered by Snappy Stories for clever limericks. 

Elsiephene Merriam, of Golden, Col., has an interesting article 
entitled "A Bit of Scientific Logic" in Power magazine for May. 
This is a New Thought publication. 

Elizabeth Hays Wilkinson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., has now three 
books for children on the market. "The Lane to Sleepy Town and 
Other Verses" (Reed & Witting) is delightfully illustrated, as befits 
the delightful versification. "Peter and Polly" (Doubleday, Page 
& Co.) is a cat story done with much charm. It is profusely pictured 
in full colors after remarkable photographs by Cornelia Clark. 
"Little Billy Coon" (Reed & Witting) is, as its name would indicate, 
a coon story. It really rivals Uncle Remus in its humor. The 
numerous illustrations are by J. Woodman Thompson. Miss Wilkin- 
son also has written an operetta for children entitled " Story land," the 
music for which was written by Harvey B. Gaul. The operetta was 
recently produced at the Schenley Theatre, Pittsburgh, with over one 
hundred children in the cast. 

Gertrude M. Stevens, of Chevy Chase, Md., has a very pleasing 
story entitled "Pink Satin Slippers" in the June Woman's Home 
Companion. 

Mattie B. Cramer, of Malta, Mont., has a full page feature 
article in the Sunday issue of the Great Falls, Mont., Daily Tribune, 
on the life and work of W. D. Coburn, the Montana Cowboy Poet. 
The article is interestingly illustrated. 

In the Canadian Courier for April 8th appears a good sporting 
story, "Between Innings," by Harry Moore, of Alvinston, Can. 

"Tom and Betty, also Belgun," a fascinating well written 
children's story by Mrs. Pitt Lamar Matthews, Montgomery, Ala., 
has just been published by the Paragon Press in the form of an 
attractive pamphlet of sixty pages. Mrs. Montgomery is president 
of the Montgomery Press and Authors' Club. 

Prof. M. N. Bunker, Dean of the Atlanta Normal School, Colby, 
Kansas, has in the April number of the Overland Monthly a biographi- 
cal article on Elizabeth Towne, editor of The Nautilus Magazine, and 
a pioneer in the New Thought movement. The biographic sketch is 
entitled "A Woman the West Has Given. " 

Mrs. Clarence Renshaw, of Edgewood Park, Pa., has an effective 
short article, entitled "Proving the Plot," in The Editor, for March 
25th. 



The Writer's 

Monthly 

Continuing 

The Photoplay Author 

A Journal for all Who Write 

Edited by 
J. Berg Esenwein 

Entered at the Springfield, Massachusetts, 
Post Office as Second Class Mail Matter. 

Copyright, 1915, by The Home Correspond- 
ence School, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. 
Price 15 cents a copy; $1.00 a Year; Canada 
$1.25; Foreign $1.50. 

Published monthly by Thb Home Corbb- 
sfondbncb School, Myrick Building, Spring- 
field, Mass. 

IMPORTANT NOTICES 

Change of address must reach the publisher 
before the first of the month. No numbers can 
be duplicated when this rule has not been com- 
plied with. Subscribers must give old address 
when sending in the new, and specifically address 
the notice to The Writer's Monthly. 

Return postage must accompany all regular 
articles intended for publication; otherwise, 
without exception, unavailable manuscripts 
will not be returned. 

In no case can short items for the Depart- 
ments be returned if unavailable, therefore 
copies should be retained by the writers. 

Notices of accepted material will be 
sent promptly with payment on acceptance. 
However, items for " Critics in Council," 
"Paragraphic Punches," "Experience Meet- 
ing," and "The Word Page" will be paid for 
only in shorter or longer subscriptions to The 
Writer's Monthly, to be sent to any desired 
person. Items for the other departments will 
not be paid for. 



Vol. VII 



June, 1916 



No. 6 



It is perfectly natural that 
new writers should choose fic- 
tional subjects that he near to 
their own hearts and experiences. 
Doubtless this is why so many 
stories about stories are submit- 
ted to editors; it also suggests a 
fundamental reason why the 
theme is rarely acceptable. It is 
difficult for the general reader to 
enter into the tragedy of "the 
first rejection slip," while writer- 
readers themselves know the ex- 
perience so intimately that they 
are not interested in so common- 
place a feeling. 

The first acceptance is a theme 
also much in vogue. 

The most common denouement 
selected for such stories is that of 



the longed-for check arriving just 
in time to prevent a catastrophe. 
Another plot device, scarcely less 
favored by beginners, is to have 
the heroine wave the welcome 
slip before the eyes of the de- 
jected lover — who has been de- 
spairing of his chances for an 
early marriage — with the an- 
nouncement that the parson may 
now be summoned. There are 
many other variations, of course. 
The oldest possible theme may 
be handled successfully by giving 
a new twist to the plot, but it is 
hopeless to save the fresh turn 
for the end. Three thousand 
words of commonplace will never 
induce an editor to read on to the 
end to see if a novel ending is in 
store. Unless the unique han- 
dling is placed in evidence at 
the start there is no chance for a 
trite situation. Better steer your 
course away from the story about 
a writer, and the plot based on 
a picture, or a musical composi- 
tion, a play manuscript, a photo- 
play script, or the discovery of 
an old violin, and kindred tat- 
tered story-schemes, are not any 
fresher. Wait until you have 
arrived before you try to revive 
the dead. 



The Writer's Monthly goes 
this month for the first time to 
a large number of new subscrib- 
ers. We want each of these to 
catch the spirit of our widening 
circle of scribes: each for the 

OTHER, AND ALL FOR THE IM- 
PROVEMENT OF THE CRAFT that 

is a good slogan to write on the 
heart. Helpfulness is the tone of 
this little magazine — each new 
subscriber owes it to all other 
readers to help the thousands 
who by means of the written 
word are trying to "bust into 
print." 



EDITORIAL 



263 



The Editor is constantly re- 
ceiving offerings long and short 
which he would like to use, but 
which the limitations of space 
require should be sent back. He 
assumes that members of The 
Writee's Monthly family circle 
are too kindly to feel hurt, even 
when they are disappointed, by 
the return of manuscript. Keep 
on sending in your material. 
Only a little of all that comes can 
be used by us, but some day your 
contribution may be found among 
that chosen group. 



This magazine finds room for 
much more departmental mate- 
rial than for extended articles. 
Make a fluid extract of your 
ideas — bring them down to the 
strongest decoction. The rich 
juices of a paragraph help more 
than the unboiled meat from 
which they are extracted. Let 
your writing — for this periodical 
as for others — be an infusion, 
not a diffusion. 



With last issue the " Letters 
to Young Authors" reached their 
seventeenth number. Will our 
readers help us to decide whether 
they are worn out in interest or 
should be continued? Send a 
single honest line by postal or 
letter. If you turn thumbs down 
we shall take the verdict as cheer- 
fully as any writer takes his re- 
jection medicine. But please do 
not expect a letter in reply. We 
have been wondering if our read- 
ers are wearying of so long a 
series. Want a rest? Be frank. 
And thank you. 

When, with that characteristic 
impudence which we all love to 
read, Bernard Shaw declared that 
" The only ideas Shakespeare ever 
had he stole," a paragrapher re- 
torted that "When our friend 



William went around rummaging 
for ideas he made it a point to 
take only the good ones." "Steal" 
is a hard word, even without per- 
petrating a pun. Shakespeare 
never used an idea before he had 
made it his own, and never with- 
out improving it. Who can point 
to a single situation adapted by 
the Divine Bard from some ear- 
lier writer which is not now 
known almost entirely as Shake- 
speare's and not that of his fore- 
runner? Herein lies all the gist 
of what is plagiarism and what is 
not. There is no law against re- 
creation. 

Do not forget that the pub- 
lishers cannot handle changes of 
address after the first of the 
month whose issue they are in- 
tended to affect. Many com- 
plain of lost magazines when they 
themselves are responsible. When 
a magazine has been sent to the 
old address and proper notice of 
change has not been sent in time, 
extra copies can in no cases be 
sent unless the request is accom- 
panied by a remittance at the 
regular rate of fifteen cents a 
copy. 

Are you going to take a vaca- 
tion this year, big or little? If 
so, why not turn it to literary 
account? When she was a young 
writer Miss Alice MacGowan set 
off on horseback for a thousand- 
mile journey from Virginia to 
the Tennessee mountains. Her 
six- weeks journey proved to be 
rich in material for stories. Few 
of us could take a similar trip, 
but are there no delectable is- 
lands, mountains of enchantment 
and streets of mystery near 
enough to our front doors to 
allure those of us who long to 
see life at first hand? 



Our readers are urgently asked to join in making this department up-to-date and accurate. 
Information of new markets, suspended or discontinued publications, prize contests in any way 
involving pencraft, needs of periodicals as stated in communications from editors, and all news 
touching markets for all kinds of literary matter should be sent promptly so as to reach Springfield 
before the 20th day of the month preceding date of issue. 



Pearson's Monthly, New York City, is in need of short fiction of 3,000 to 
5,000 words in length. They also use special articles on economic subjects, the 
nature of which can be seen by consulting back numbers of the magazine. They 
use no verse, anecdotes or novelettes. Manuscripts are generally reported on 
within a week, and payment is made on publication. 

McC all's Magazine, New York City, is in the market for serials of from 
25,000 to 30,000 words in length. They should contain love and mystery, be full 
of action, told largely in conversation, and center around the woman. Special 
articles about active things worth while being accomplished by towns, organiza- 
tions, or individuals will also be considered. Short-stories of 3,500 words in 
length, based on love, problems of married life (exclusive of sex problems) and 
humor are wanted. Unavailable manuscripts are passed on within a week; on 
possible manuscripts the time varies. Payment is made upon acceptance. 

Live Stories has just been purchased by The New Fiction Publishing Com- 
pany, 35 West 39th St., New York, and hereafter will be issued by them. They 
will use short novelettes of 15,000 to 18,000 words; short stories of 2,500 to 6,000 
words; two-part stories of 18,000 to 20,000 words; one-act plays (especially 
good comedies with rather more than a dash of spice) ; verse, epigrams and short 
prose fillers. Payment is at the rate of about one cent a word, and is made on 
acceptance. 

The Black Cat, Salem, Mass., has immediate need for short-stories of in- 
cident and action, of from 1,000 to 5,000 words in length. Stories are considered 
upon their own merits, with no regard for the name or reputation of the author, 
and no story that has already appeared in print, either wholly or in part, in any 
language, will be considered. Payment is made promptly upon acceptance, 
according to the worth of the material. 

The Penn Publishing Co., 925 Filbert St., Philadelphia, is in need of novel- 
length fiction for older readers, and plays for amateurs, as well as book-length 
stories for children. The stories must be about real folks, whether for younger 
or older readers. They are looking for stories that are readable, and that leave 
one the better for the reading. 

Collier's Magazine, 416 West 13th St., New York, is in the market for first- 
class fiction, both short-stories and serials. They also use short humorous verse, 
and striking news photos. Manuscripts are read and decisions rendered within 
ten days of receipt, and payment is made upon acceptance. 

The Author's League of America, Inc., 33 West 42d St., New York 
City, is strictly a business organization of authors for mutual service, benefit and 
protection. All persons producing works subject to copyright protection, authors 
of stories, novels, poems, essays, textbooks, etc., dramatic and photoplay authors, 
composers, painters, illustrators, sculptors, photographers, etc., are eligible for 
regular membership; publishers, theatrical managers, literary and dramatic 
agents, and others, are eligible for associate membership. The dues are $10 per 
annum for regular members, $5 per annum for associate members, $100 for life 
members. These dues include subscription to The Bulletin. Address all com- 
munications to the Secretary, Author's League of America, Inc., 33 West 
42d St., New York City, and make all remittances payable to the Authors' 
League of America, Inc. The offices are open from 9 a. m. to 5 p. m. daily, 
and the services of the Secretary are at such hours at the command of the members. 



WHERE TO SELL 265 

The Authors' League of America, Inc., publishes a monthly Bulletin 
which is sent to members without extra charge, the subscription being included 
in the membership fee. The Bulletin prints all manner of articles on subjects of 
interest to authors, and especially such as treat of the business side of the author's 
work. Important contributions on Copyright, Contracts (literary, dramatic, 
motion picture, agency, etc.), the Motion-Picture Business, Syndication, Serial- 
ization, Arbitration, etc., etc., have appeared in past issues, and discussions of new 
developments of these subjects are planned for future numbers. Besides articles 
on the business of authorship, the Bulletin also publishes a monthly resume of 
the needs of the various magazines. It also serves the purpose of keeping the 
membership informed of the various activities of the League. 

Ainslee's, 79 Seventh Ave., New York, is in the market for short-stories and 
novelettes of 20,000 to 35,000 words in length. Society themes containing strong 
situations and woman interest, interwoven with bright dialogue, are particularly 
wanted. Unacceptable manuscripts are usually returned within ten days. Payment 
is made upon publication. 

The Designer, 12 Vandam St., New York, is especially in need of a six-part 
serial of 20,000 to 24,000 words in length. They also use all sorts of short-stories, 
of 3,000 to 4,000 words in length. Payment is made upon acceptance. 

Smith's Magazine, 79 Seventh Ave., New York, is in the market for short- 
stories of high quality: love, humor, child interest, and married life. Unaccepta- 
ble manuscripts are usually returned within ten days, and payment is made upon 
acceptance. 

Spare Moments, Allentown, Pa., write that they have contracted for all the 
material they can use during 1916. 

The Poetry Review of America, 12 Chauncy St., Cambridge, Mass., a new 
magazine edited by William Stanley Braithwaite, begins publication this month. 
The following is from the publisher's announcement: "The spirit of The Poetry 
Review of America will be one of advancement and cooperation; the desire to 
serve the art of poetry and to consolidate public interest in its growth and popu- 
larity — to quicken and enlarge the poetic pulse of the country. In this spirit, 
we propose to our contemporaries in the field a union of effort and mutual en- 
couragement; to the poets of America an open forum and a clearing-house for 
ways and means to serve the art we all love; to the poetry-reading public of our 
country we pledge a never-ceasing striving for the best in American poetry, and 
a constant effort to bring out the strength and joy to be derived therefrom. The 
Editors of The Poetry Review intend to be wholly impartial as to the kinds of 
poetry that are to be published, being concerned only with the degree of success 
attained in the poem as an artistic product. Catholicity of taste and standard 
of performance will be the guiding factors in accepting poems. Besides the poems, 
each issue will contain comprehensive and serious reviews of new volumes of 
poems, and of works concerning poets and poetry, written by competent critics 
in a thoroughly unbiased spirit, special articles touching every phase of poetic 
activity; studies of important figures in contemporary American poetry; an 
open house for an exchange of ideas on doings and theories, events and discus- 
sions — in truth, a comprehensive history of all the forces which make for progress 
of poetry in America." 

Writers are invited to submit unpublished poems and articles relating to 
poetry for consideration. Payment is promised upon acceptance. A stamped, 
addressed envelope should accompany all contributions. The subscription price 
is $1.00 a year, single copies 10c. 

Pacific Outdoors, San Francisco, CaL, is a new monthly which made its first 
appearance in January. The following statement is taken from an announcement 
recently issued: "Communications on all topics pertaining to fishing, hunting, 
motoring, on land and sea, mountain climbing, golf, athletics, trap shooting, fly 
casting, natural history, highways, and conservation, will be welcomed and pub- 
lished if possible. All communications must be accompanied by the name of the 
writer, not necessarily for publication, however. Pacific Outdoors does not assume 



266 WHERE TO SELL 

any responsibility for, or necessarily endorse, any views expressed by contribu- 
tors to its columns. New ideas, practical hints, and reports of club activities are 
desired. Matter intended for publication in any number should reach us not 
later than the 15th of the previous month. IMPORTANT — Authors, agents and 
publishers are requested to note that this firm does not hold itself responsible 
for loss of unsolicited manuscripts while at this office or in transit; and that it 
cannot undertake to hold uncalled-for manuscripts for a longer period than six 
months. If the return of manuscripts is expected, postage should be enclosed." 
The magazine announces itself as the official organ of "The California Anglers' 
Association," "San Francisco Fly Casting Club," "Golden Gate Trap-Shooting 
Club," "The Tacoma Fly and Bait Casting Club." 

The Nautilus Magazine, Holyoke, Mass., is in the field for high-grade articles 
on New Thought principles and practice, practical psychology and kindred sub- 
jects. Also they afford the largest market in the country for practical New 
Thought experience articles: experiences showing how one has applied New 
Thought principles to the solving of any sort of human problem. They pay 
anywhere from 5 cents a word down to $2 a thousand words, depending altogether 
upon the value of the article. It is their practice to make the author an offer and 
give him a chance to recall his manuscript if it is not satisfactory. In ninety 
per cent of the cases the manuscripts get very prompt attention, and the payment 
is cash on acceptance. 

The Elizabeth Towne Company, of Holyoke, Mass., publishers of the 
Nautilus Magazine, publish four or five new books every year, and the editors 
are glad to consider manuscripts suitable for their purpose, upon terms to be 
agreed upon. Most of the book manuscripts are purchased outright, though 
some of them are published on a royalty basis. All manuscripts submitted for 
book publication must be germane to the purpose of the Nautilus Magazine, which 
is described in the preceding paragraph. 

The Lubin Scenario Department, Philadelphia, Pa., is in the market for 
strong, single-reel dramas. 

The Essanay Co., 1333 Argyle St., Chicago, is looking for western dramas. 

Comedy and dramatic plots are desired by The Vitagraph Company of 
America, Brooklyn, N. Y. 

The Youth's Companion, Boston, Mass., finds that its greatest need at present 
is for good short-stories for girls and for good adventure stories of not more than 
2,500 words in length. 

Alvin Mfg. Co., 205 Main St., Sag Harbor, N. Y., will give as a Grand 
Prize, valued at $225, a genuine mahogany chest of 208 pieces of Alvin Silver: 
"The Long-Life Plate," for the cleverest letter in answer to the one the bride 
(illustrated in their advertisement) has received. Get an answer blank from the 
jeweler in your town displaying this bride's picture. Answer the letter printed on 
answer blank and mail direct to them before July 4th, 1916. In addition to the 
Grand Prize they will give twenty other prizes, each a mahogany chest containing 
65 pieces of Alvin Silver, valued at $60, each for the twenty next-best answers. 
Also, the best answer (except winners of the above twenty-one prizes) written on 
the blanks from each jeweler will receive a set of six teaspoons. If you are unable 
to get an answer blank from your jeweler, write giving his name, and you will be 
supplied without cost. If two or more answers are entitled to the prize, each will 
receive one of the chests. 

We have recently received the following statement from Elizabeth Ansley, 
Editor, The Mother's Magazine, Elgin, 111.: "Just now we are looking for well- 
written live fiction from 2,000 to 4,000 words in length, and will be very glad to 
examine any manuscripts that you think may be suited to our needs. " 

McBride's Magazine — the name adopted for Lippincott's Magazine by its 
purchasers from the J. B. Lippincott Co. — has not proved profitable under its new 
policy and has been sold to Scribner's, thus losing its identity. 



WHERE TO SELL 267 

Sidney Reynolds, Editor of the Fox Film Corporation, 130 West 46th St., 
New York City, writes that they are in the market for unusual, strong five-reel 
modern dramas, comedy dramas, or good western stories. They would prefer five 
or six-page synopses. 

Clever Stories, 331 4th Av., New York City, has arranged to make its readers' 
evening hours merry with a home game of giving titles to pictures. It is called the 
Book Title Picturegame, and consists of a series of 32 pictures, for which par- 
ticipants will submit titles chosen from a list of book titles available to all. Those 
submitting the titles that fit the pictures best will receive the 419 cash prizes. The 
first prize of $1,250 cash should lead you to enter; in case of ties, full awards will 
be paid each tying contestant. Write for full particulars. The game is open to 
everybody on equal terms, without obligation or expense, as explained by the 
rules. There is no work of any kind in connection with it. 

One hundred and sixty-six cash prizes for Road Photographs are offered by 
General Coleman Du Pont, of Wilmington, Del. and Charles Henry Davis, C. E., 
of South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, Mass., to secure for the National Highways 
Association photographs of roads, and in the hope of adding strength to its 
membership and means, so that the Association may prosecute its work for "good 
roads everywhere." 

Photographs will be judged by Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Sullivan and Ida 
M. Tarbell. The prizes are one first prize of $500.00, 5 second prizes of $100.00 
each, 20 third prizes of $25.00 each, 40 fourth prizes of $15.00 each, and 100 fifth 
prizes of $5.00 each. 

Photographs will be judged first upon their merit in showing road conditions 
(good or bad); second, pictorial interest; third, photographic excellence. Any 
one may become a competitor. It is not required that competitors be members of 
the Association, and no preference will be given members over non-members in 
awarding the prizes, 1. A contestant may submit any number of photographs, 
any one or all of which may receive a prize. 2. All photographs must be of some 
road within the United States. 3. Photographs receiving a prize shall thereby 
become the property of the National Highways Association with full legal title 
and copyright vested therein. 4. The full name (do not use initials) and full 
address of the contestants must be upon the back of each and every photograph 
submitted. 5. No photographs can be returned. But none will be published by 
the Association or allowed by them to be published by others, save such as win 
prizes and are purchased by agreement after the contest is over. 6. Photographs 
should be addressed to "Good Roads Everywhere" Photograph Contest, 
National Highways Association, Washington, D. C. 7. Contest closes at noon, 
Tuesday, November 7, 1916. Prizes will be awarded as soon thereafter as physi- 
cally possible. There are no other conditions. There is no limitation as to the 
kind of photograph, size, when taken, by whom, details shown, or number 
submitted by any contestant (man, woman or child). No letters should or need 
be written by any contestant, and no correspondence will be entered into about 
the competition. 

The Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, N. Y., in offering ten prizes, of 
from $100 to $1,000, for use in Kodak advertising, makes the following statement: 
"The backbone of our national magazine advertising is based on photographs that 
we receive through these annual competitions, pictures that tell of the charm of 
picture-making by the simple Kodak method. These pictures are not necessarily 
pictures made with Kodaks, but are pictures showing Kodaks or Brownies in 
action — pictures that suggest the delights of amateur photography. They are not 
for sample print work, but are for illustrating advertisements, and for use in telling 
the story of the witchery of Kodakery. The use of photographs as illustrations in 
advertising is growing steadily, rapidly. For the photographer who goes thought- 
fully and carefully at it there is good money in making such pictures. There is a 
growing market. Our competitions offer to the photographer an interesting way 
of taking up such work. And the prizes are well-worth while. " 



^ r ° c ±jxguiri e \ 



■■nirrif^ifry — 

No questions can be answered by mail, nor can we supply names of players taking part in 
certain pictures. Questions relating to the writing, sale, and production of photoplays and other 
literary forms will be answered in this column, but readers are asked to make their letters brief 
and to the point. 

L. T. 0., CHANUTE. — (1) Copyright cannot be secured on magazine or book 
material that has not been published, as the law requires that all such material 
must first be both printed and issued. This, however, does not apply to plays and 
photoplays, which have rules of their own. Write to the Registrar of Copyrights, 
Library of Congress, Washington, D. C, for a leaflet stating the conditions under 
which copyrights may be secured, and what sort of material is copyrightable. It 
would be impossible for us to give all the regulations in this Magazine. (2) It is 
the opinion of the vast majority of scholars that William Shakespeare and not 
Francis Bacon is the author of the works which bear Shakespeare's name. There 
are some scholars, however, who hold to the Baconian theory of authorship. (3) 
This subject has been so widely discussed in the newspapers lately that we do not 
think it would be profitable to print an article on the subject in The Writer's 
Monthly. This magazine is particularly devoted to methods of writing, and 
marketing literary material, and not to literary questions in general. 

G. R. E., RUTHERFORD. — Judging from the enormous sums that the 
Mutual Company have been obtaining for the films in which Charlie Chaplin is 
now appearing, the statement of his income may not be exaggerated. We have 
no means of getting at the actual facts, and no layman can really know whether 
there is another " inside" contract or not. The figures as named in the news- 
papers — over $600,000 a year — seem incredible, yet they are vouched for by 
gentlemen whose word we have no reason to doubt. 

S. G., BOSTON. — (1) In the present somewhat unsettled condition of the 
business it is difficult to name the best companies. Try Vim — they are advertising 
(see Motion Picture World). Lubin, Philadelphia, may use material. Try also 
Vitagraph, Brooklyn, N. Y., but only for the highest grade of material. Also try 
Vogue, submitting scripts to them at the American Film Co. Studios, Santa 
Barbara, Calif. (2) Single spacing IN the scene, with double space BETWEEN 
the different scenes, is usually considered satisfactory. 

L. MORELAND. — It is not possible to locate the Wizard Film Company. 
We have not heard of their activities and do not think they are producing. If 
they have held a script as long as six months, and you can get no reply, send a 
letter saying you withdraw the script and are sending it elsewhere. Register your 
letter and ask for a receipt. If you get one and your story is produced by them 
without payment at any future time you have a logical "come-back." 

M. S. B. — In our opinion the nationality of a name has no bearing on a 
writer's acceptability to American Magazines. We have not observed that a 
German name prejudices the chances of a writer. Americans are sick of the war 
and are longing for the day when the Kaiser and King George will drink a friendly 
glass — of water? — with each other, and a dozen other mistaken potentates. 

C. Z. ELLIOT. — (1) The Equitable Company has been taken over by 
The World Film, and the latter is ready to pay from five hundred to one thou- 
sand dollars for a five-reel synopsis. A five-reel story in synopsis form may run 
from two hundred to fifteen hundred words, or even more. (2) Do not try to 
measure off reels. Leave that to the staff writer. If your idea is big enough for a 
five-reel story, the staff writer will make it into one, whether you see it or not. 
The World Film is located at 126 West 46th St., New York City. 

CORA DREW. — You will find a list of publishers to whom you may submit 
your popular lyric on another page of this issue of The Writer's Monthly. 



ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES 269 

W. B., NASHUA, N. H. — You can have a dramatic sketch criticized by 
Mr. Brett Page, the author of "Writing for Vaudeville." He will advise you 
regarding marketing it, but will not undertake to market it personally. Mr. 
Page's book, "Writing for Vaudeville" gives a very full discussion of all phases 
of vaudeville writing, including the sketch and playlet. Mr. Charlton Andrews' 
book, "The Technique of Play Writing," devotes a chapter to marketing the 
legitimate drama. It would be impossible to give you adequate instructions in 
these few lines. 

H. G., NOWATA, OKLA. — Some boys' periodicals are New York American 
Newsboy, Kansas City, Mo.; American Youth, 124 E. 28th St., New York; 
American Boy, Detroit, Mich.; Boy, Chicago, 111.; Boys' Life, 200 Fifth Ave., 
New York; Boys' Magazine, Smethport, Pa.; St. Nicholas, 353 Fourth Ave., 
New York; Youth's Companion, Boston, Mass. 

A. J. L. — We regret that we know of no publication which gives information 
regarding the placing and selling of photos, caricatures, illustrations, and draw- 
ings in general. Drawings for illustrations must nearly always be made to suit 
the text and therefore are almost universally ordered by the publisher from some 
artist of whose work he knows. It is customary for artists to call upon publishers 
with, or send to them, selections of their drawings with the request for an order. 
The latter practice is a rather doubtful one. The only way to sell photographs 
is to submit them to a magazine which uses photographic material. There are 
many such, as may be seen from an examination of their pages. 



The Simple Simon-Pure 

How glad I am, these latter days, 

To say, with conscience clear, 
That I have none of Shelley's ways; 

Resemble not Lanier; 

That Tennyson and Burns and Hood 

And Shakspeare the Divine 
Wrote stuff that, while 'twas very good, 

Was not a bit like mine; 

To know that Cowper, Grey and Keats 

Were of a different school 
From me, and in their lit'ry feats 

Observed a different rule. 

Yea, what a comfort 'tis to say: 

" Those bards were not my pals;" 
For I'm an amateur and they 

Were rank professionals ! 

[A. P. W., in "The Conning Tower," New York Tribune. 



THE FOURTH ESTATE 

CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, NEW YORK 
The News 

For over two decades The Fourth Estate has been furnishing the 
newspaper and advertising world with prompt reports of the happen- 
ings in this great field of endeavor and accomplishment. 
But $2.00 

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information, importance and genuine value, are furnished to sub- 
scribers for $2.00. 
An Army of Generals 

The subscription list of The Fourth Estate is a representative roll of 
the men who are known for their activities and accomplishments in the 
advertising and newspaper field — a real army of generals. 
Fifty Millions in Newspapers 

A canvass of those on the subscription list who direct the advertising 
investments of large concerns shows that regular readers of The Fourth 
Estate spend approximately $50,000,000 annually in newspapers. 
Earnest Advocate of Advertising 

The Fourth Estate has concentrated its efforts for almost a quarter 
of a century in having the newspaper recognized as the premier publicity 
medium — and its efforts have borne fruit. 
Two Things YOU Can Do 

For the news of the great field it covers — read The Fourth Estate. 
To reach those who spend millions in newspaper advertising and buy 
the machinery and supplies for newspaper making — advertise in The 
Fourth Estate. 

Sample copies, rates and information furnished to 
those interested with greatest of pleasure. 

THE FOURTH ESTATE 

CENTRAL PARK SOUTH, NEW YORK 

The Poetry Review of America, a monthly periodical devoted to 
the interest of American poetry in all its phases, will begin publication 
May the first. Its subscription price is one dollar the year — single 
copies ten cents. 

For the furtherance of its purpose, The Poetry Review of America 
will endeavor: 

By the formation of Poetry Reading Circles and Poetry Societies, 
and by the promotion of private and public recitals of poetry to 
bring together lovers of poetry with a view to extending and de- 
veloping the interest in, and appreciation of, poetry. 
To consider all suggestions and to act upon those which will help 
to enlarge and intensify the poetic spirit of America. 
To bring together for their mutual benefit and pleasure the poets of 
America and the public which they serve. 
The Poetry Review of America asks you to help the cause to which 
it is dedicated by sending: 

Your subscription, with one dollar, to The POETRY REVIEW, 
12 Chauncy Street, Cambridge, Mass. 
The names of your friends who are interested in Poetry. 
Your books of poetry and those relating to poetry for acknowledg- 
ment and review. 

Your unpublished poems and articles relating to poetry for our 
consideration. We shall pay upon acceptance. A stamped and 
addressed envelope should accompany your contributions. 
News of the Poets, Poetry Societies, and of the publishers of Poetry. 

Among contributors to the early issues of the Poetry Review are: 
Edwin Arlington Robin- John Gould Fletcher Benjamin R. C. Sow 

son Louis V. Ledoux George Sterling 

RlDGELT TORRENCE ROBERT FROST VaCHEL LlNDSET 

Amelia Josephine Burr Edgar Lee Masters Herman Hagedorn 

Louis Untermeyer Witter Bynner Dana Burnett 

Sara Teasdale Percy MacKaye Richard Le Gallienne 

Amy Lowell Josephine Preston Pea- James Oppenheim 

Joyce Kilmer body 

William Stanley Braithwaite, Editor Joseph Lebowich, Associate Editor 

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Short-Story Writing 




Dr. Esenwein 

and Verse Writing, Journalism; 



A COURSE of forty lessons in the history, form 
structure, and writing of the Short-Story taught by 
Dr. J. Berg Esenwein, formerly Editor of Lippin- 
cott's Magazine. 

Story-writers muet be made as well as born; they 
must master the details of construction if they would 
turn their talents to account. 

May we send you the names of students and gradu- 
ates who have succeeded? And the success their let- 
ters prove is practical. It means recognition, accepted 
manuscripts and checks from editors. 

One student, before completing the lea- 
sons, received over $1000 for manuscripts 
sold to Woman's Home Companion, 
Pictorial Review, McCalVs, and other 
leading magazines. 

We also offer courses in Photoplay Writing, Poetry 
in all over One Hundred Home Study Courses, many of 



them under professors in Harvard, Brown, Cornell, and other leading colleges. 

250-Page Catalog Free. Please Address 

THE HOME CORRESPONDENCE SCHOOL, 
Department 78, Springfield, Mass. 



Eagle "Mikado" Pencil 
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For Sale at Your Dealer, 5c Each 
or 50c per Dozen 

The Mikado is a Superior 
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and contains the very finest specially 
prepared lead which is exceedingly smooth 
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NEW YORK 



OUR SCRIPT 
CRITICISM SERVICE 

Up till now our charge for giving an 
expert criticism on any and all scripts, 
regardless of length, has been two dol- 
lars. In announcing a change we do not 
do so because others are charging more, 
but because we find it absolutely neces- 
sary in view of the increased number of 
multiple-reel scripts which are being 
sent in for criticism. In the future 
therefore, our charge for this service will 
be TWO DOLLARS FOR THE FIRST 
REEL AND ONE DOLLAR FOR 
EACH ADDITIONAL REEL. Writers 
will continue to receive the very best 
and most careful criticisms and sugges- 
tions that Mr. Powell can give them. 

We reserve the right to return any 
script that we deem absolutely un- 
worthy of criticism, making a charge of 
one dollar for reading the script and 
giving the writer an expert opinion of 
the script's merits and short-comings. 
Such a letter will equal the "criticism" 
given by many who offer such service, 
the only difference between this and our 
full criticism service being that Mr. 
Powell will not examine and comment 
upon each and every scene in detail. 
(Fees do not include return postage which 
should always accompany manuscripts). 

The Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 



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Can You Help 
Us Out? 

Have you a spare copy of the August, 
1915, Writer's Monthly? If you 
have and are willing to part with it, 
please send it at once. We are in need of 
a few copies of this number for binding. 
We shall be glad to send you two 
copies of other issues in exchange or to 
extend your subscription two months. 



THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 

SPRINGFIELD, MASS. 

MRS. RACHEL WEST CLEMENT 

Experienced Authors' Agent, Reader 
and Critic, Specializing in Short Stories. 
Reading fee, $1.00 for 5,000 words or 
under, includes short criticism. 

CIRCULARS ON REQUEST 

6814 Chew St., 
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 



What 

New Thought 

Does 

It dissolves fear and worry. 

It brings power and poise. 

It dissolves the causes of disease, 
unhappiness and poverty. 

It brings health, new joy and 
prosperity. 

It dissolves family strife and 
discord. 

It brings co-operation and de- 
velopment. 

Ella Wheeler Wilcox Knows 

the value of New Thought; and she tells 
about it in the little booklet, "What I Know 
About New Thought." More than 50,000 
persons have sent for this booklet. 

FOR 10 CENTS you can get the above 
booklet and three months' trial subscription 
to Nautilus, leading magazine of the New 
Thought movement. Edwin Markham, 
William Walker Atkinson, Orison Swett 
Marden, Edward B. Warman, A. M., 
Horatio W. Dresser, Paul Ellsworth, Kate 
Atkinson Boehme, Lida A. Churchill and 
many others are regular contributors. 
Elizabeth Towne and William E. Towne 
are the editors. Send now and for prompt 
action we will include the booklet, "How 
To Get What You Want " The Elizabeth 
Towne Company, Dept. 960, Holyoke, 
Mass. 



AMERIKA ESPERANTISTO 

(The American Esperantist) 
$1.00 PER YEAR 

An international monthly in Eng- 
lish and Esperanto, — the interna- 
tional language. 

"I never understood English 
grammar so well until I began 
the study of Esperanto." 
Send 10c for sample copy and re- 
ceive a "Key to Esperanto" 
FREE. 

The American Esperantist Co., Inc. 
Dept. W 
WEST NEWTON, MASS. 

SONG LYRICS AND 
MELODIES 

Why try to market a lyric or a 
melody that possesses no commercial 
value? Why become a victim to the 
honeyed words of the song shark? 

A good song by a beginner may not 
bring a fortune in royalties, but if 
properly marketed it will bring some 
financial returns and afford the tyro a 
start. 

The Wkiteb's Monthly for a small 
fee will examine your lyric or song, give 
you a frank and detailed eritioism on it, 
tell you whether it has any commercial 
and poetical value, and give you a list 
of publishers most likely to purchase it. 

Should the song contain sufficient 
merit, our Song Department will 
market same for you on a 10% com- 
mission basis, provided you are willing 
to sell your work outright. 
Reading fee for separate lyric . 1.60 
Reading fee for a complete song. 2.50 
Address: 

Song Dept., Writer's Monthly 
Springfield, Mass. 

(Return postage should accompany all 
manuscripts) 

THE ART OF VERSIFICATION 

By J. Berg Esenwein and Mary Eleanor Roberts 

The most complete, practical and helpful 
working handbook ever issued on the Prin- 
ciples of Poetry and the Composition of all 
Forms of Verse. 

Clear and progressive in arrangement. 
Free from unexplained technicalities. In- 
dispensable to every writer of verse. Money 
cheerfully refunded if not all that we claim 
for it. 

"There is no better book than this for 
those who wish to study the art of Versifi- 
cation. A poet must be both born and 
made ; this book will help to make him. — 
Edwin Markham. 

Cloth, XII+310 pp. Uniform with the 
Writer's Library. Postpaid $1.62. 
The 60-page chapter on "Light Verse" 

alone is worth the price to writers. 
Write Today for Table of Contents and Opin- 
ions of Successful Writers. 

THE WRITER'S MONTHLY 
Springfield, Mass. 



L/C'--' -*• 



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\ ■' - 



Hailed by the Profession as the First and 
Only Complete Guide 

Writing for Vaudeville 

By BRETT PAGE 



Author of "Memories," etc., Dramatic 

Editor of Newspaper Feature Service, 

New York 

HOW TO WRITE the Monologue, 
Two-Act, Playlets, Musical Comedy, 
The Popular Songs, etc. 

NINE FAVORITE ACTS by Aaron 
Hoffman, Richard Harding Davis, 
Edgar Allan Woolf and others — each 
worth the price of the book. 



650 Pages 



$2.15 



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The Writer's Monthly 
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The Technique of 
Play Writing 

By CHARLTON ANDREWS 

Author of " The Drama Today," etc., etc. 

This notable book, just from the 
press, is clear, concise, authoritative 
and without a rival. It actually takes 
you by the hand and shows you how to 
draft a plot, select your characters, 
construct dialogue, and handle all the 
mechanics of play construction. 

Every point in play writing and play 
marketing is brought out with clearness. 
No such effective guide has ever been 
written. 

XXX+267 pages. 

Cloth, Gilt Top 

$1.62 Postpaid 

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Opinions of Dramatic Editors and 

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CORRECT ENGLISH- 
HOW TO USE IT. 

A MONTHLY MAGAZINE. 
Josephine Turck Baker, Editor. 

Your Everyday 

Vocabulary — 

HELPS FOR SPEAKERS 
HELPS FOR WRITERS 

Business Letter Writing- 
And Business English. 

and many other subjects 
Sample copy 10c. 

EVANSTON, ILLINOIS. 



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THE 

DRAMATIST 



A Magazine devoted exclusively 
to the Science of Play Con- 
struction. 

Current plays analysed in such 
a way as to afford the student 
a grasp of applied dramatur- 
gic principle. 

Endorsed by all leading Play- 
wrights, Managers and In- 
structors. 

Subscription $1.00 a Year 

Specimen copy 10 Cents 



The DRAMATIST 

EASTON, PENNSYLVANIA